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Jet Airways again defaults on loan repayment

Jet Airways has disclosed that it has again delayed repayment of a working capital facility that was due on 28 March, citing “temporary liquidity constraints.”

It adds that it is “engaged with the lender”, but provided no other details on the lender, nor the amount now in arrears.

Jet has now delayed repaying two external commercial debt facilities that were due in March, in addition to an interest payment on its debentures.

A report issued by credit ratings agency ICRA on 2 January shows that the carrier had Rs17 billion ($246 million) of debt due between December 2018 and March 2019.

A consortium of lenders, led by the State Bank of India, is working on a resolution plan for the cash-strapped carrier, which they are set to take control of through a debt-to-equity swap.

Jet’s chairman Naresh Goyal, his wife Anita, and Etihad Aviation Group representative Kevin Knight have recently resigned from its board, with the banks set to appoint new directors.

The SBI-led consortium has pledged to release Rs15 billion in interim funding for the airline, aimed at clearing some of its debts owed to trade creditors, including aircraft lessors, in an effort to reinforce its operations.

The airline has acknowledged that 55 aircraft have been grounded for defaulting on lease repayments, although Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer suggests that the carrier has 70 aircraft in storage. That likely reflects aircraft grounded for maintenance reasons, end-of-lease and some new-build aircraft that have yet to be delivered.

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