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Creditors try again to woo new investors for Jet Airways

The resolution professional handling the insolvency of Jet Airways has again extended the expression of interest process in hopes of finding investors willing to revive the stricken carrier.

A deadline of 31 August has been set for parties to lodge their interest, with a provisional list set to be issued on 3 September, before a final listing on 12 September.

Resolution plans will then have to be submitted by 14 October, with approval of the successful plan expected two weeks after that.

It is the second time that resolution professional Ashish Chhawchharia has extended the EOI deadline to find an investor for Jet, likely indicating that there were no suitable bids submitted by the previous 10 August deadline.

The new timeline indicates that the resolution period will be extended beyond the 90 days that the National Company Law Tribunal initially requested in early July, using a "fast track" mechanism under India's bankruptcy code.

A teaser document released on 20 July to prospective applicants shows that the airline still has 12 aircraft in its fleet, comprising six Boeing 777-300ERs, three Airbus A330-300s and three 737s. The widebody jets are under finance leases, while the 737s are owned by the company.

Most of its other aircraft have since been repossessed by lessors and banks.

If a new investor and resolution plan can be found, it looks unlikely that a revived Jet would be able to take back some of the route authorities and slots that have been temporarily farmed out to other carriers before the start of the northern winter scheduling season.

Any new investor is likely to demand that creditors and banks write off a large portion of the debts owed by Jet. Documents show that Chhawchharia received over Rs305 billion ($4.26 billion) in claims against the airline by 7 August, of which Rs126 billion has been admitted, while Rs60.6 billion is still to be verified.

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