The consortium of 26 bankers led by State Bank on Tuesday took the grounded Jet Airways to the National Company Law Tribunal to recover their dues of over Rs 8,500 crore. The tribunal will hear the matter on Wednesday. Jet Airways, started over 25 years ago by airline-ticketing-agent-turned-entrepreneur Naresh Goyal, stopped flying on April 17 after it ran out of cash and the unpaid lessors took away most of its 100-odd operational airplanes.
Reacting to the decision of lenders to take the debt-laden carrier to the bankruptcy court, Naresh Goyal said: "I feel sad and deeply distressed mainly for our loyal employees who have waited months and were anxiously and hopefully awaiting a positive outcome to the Bank Led Resolution Plan."
"I can only hope and pray that even now a solution can emerge and Jet can fly and fulfill the needs not only of employees but of air travellers who feel the absence of the Joy of flying," he said in a statement.
The lenders have been trying to sell the airline since the past five months, but failed due to many reasons. Apart from banks, the airline also owes over Rs 10,000 crore to its hundreds of vendors, primarily aircraft lessors and over Rs 3,000 crore to around 23,000 employees who have not been paid since March.
Lenders' move to take Jet Airways to National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) comes after two of its operational creditors Shaman Wheels and Gaggar Enterprises filed insolvency plea earlier this month.
After Jet Airways consortium of banks decided to take it to the NCLT, Jet Airways shares crashed as much as 53.72 per cent to a record low of Rs. 31.65 in intraday trade on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday.