Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group has confirmed that it is evaluating a potential investment in defunct carrier Jet Airways, as most of its fleet continues to be repossessed by lessors and banks.
Hinduja tells FlightGlobal that it is “evaluating the Jet Airways opportunity” but did not provide any other detail or commentary.
Some reports claim that the conglomerate has been in discussions with Jet’s founder and former chairman, Naresh Goyal, and Etihad Aviation Group, but the Indian company did not address those reports.
The company is the parent of some major Indian brands, including Ashok Leyland, Gulf Oil and IndusInd Bank, among other companies.
It now appears that SBI Capital Markets, which is running the sale process for the stricken airline, is accepting a wide range of proposals in hopes that it can be sold to a new investor that is willing to revive the airline.
Etihad has publicly said that it would be willing to “re-invest” in the carrier that it once held a 24% stake in, but its commitment is highly conditional – including having a suitable Indian partner that would be willing to provide most of the cash required.
The State Bank of India previously indicated that it had received one proposal and two unsolicited bids for the airline, but did not identify the parties involved.
Little of the airline remains, however, as chief executive Vinay Dube, chief financial officer Amit Agarwal and other senior executives resigned on 14 May.
Records from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) show that 95 of Jet’s former aircraft have been deregistered at the request of their owners, lessors and mortgagees, with three more pending.
The three pending deregistrations comprise of two ATR 72-500s (registered VT-JCM and -JCS) and a Boeing 737-800 (VT-JFE).
Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that Aergo Capital and Investec Bank are the managers of the ATRs, while BOC Aviation manages the 737.
The growing number of deregistrations seems to show that there have been few barriers preventing banks and lessors from taking their aircraft back.
A late April restraining order granted by the Telangana High Court preventing 32 aircraft from being deregistered or exported due to unpaid dues on aircraft maintenance and airport charges until a 3 June hearing.
That action was taken by GMR Aero Technic and Hyderabad International airport against the Indian government and the DGCA.
However, legal sources and lessors tell FlightGlobal that there are now less than 10 aircraft covered by that order, with most parties able to come to an agreement to settle the debts and release the order.
UPDATED: Corrected typographical error on Hinduja Group
Source: Cirium Dashboard