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'There will be more buyers for Jet after NCLT hearing'

June 20, 2019 08:47 IST

'When Etihad initiated their bid, it was conditional.'
'They said only if someone takes a 'haircut' would they be interested.'

Jet Airways's pilots union and engineers union has moved the National Company Law Tribunal seeking to be made parties to the bankruptcy hearings, which the tribunal will begin from Thursday.

The consortium of 26 bankers led by the State Bank of India filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday at the NLCT's Mumbai bench, seeking to recover over Rs 8,500 crore/Rs 85 billion of their funds from the airline that was formally grounded on April 17.

The NCLT tribunal, comprising V P Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy, posted the matter for hearing for Thursday, when the intervention applications will be formally looked into.

Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com spoke to Captain Parikshit Joshi, general secretary, National Aviators Guild comprising Jet pilots of Indian nationality and asked why the pilots union wanted to be included in the NCLT proceedings.

Why does the pilots union want to be included in the NCLT proceedings?

Like other operational creditors the pilots are also operational creditors and since the National Aviators Guild is representing the pilots we have also sent a demand notice.

In any case dues have to be claimed from the airline, through the NCLT process we have a valid claim.

Therefore we have gone there.

 

To a layman, can you explain how the pilots getting into NCLT proceedings will help?

Like the banks, the pilots are also creditors.

The banks are financial creditors and we are operational creditors.

Once the company goes to the NCLT, which is a law tribunal for insolvency, they will ask Jet Airways whether it can pay the dues of all the creditors.

If Jet Airways says it cannot pay the dues of all the creditors, then obviously they (the NCLT) will ask for potential buyers who can buy the airline.

Now, the money that will come from the sale of Jet Airways will also include our dues.

To claim those dues you have to make a demand, and that is exactly what we did as a collective body.

It is not that that we are taking the company to NCLT.

It is just that we, too, are part of the dues which we have to receive from the company.

How many employees are still left in Jet and how are they managing their lives now?

As far as managing lives are concerned, I cannot comment, as it is personal.

As of last Thursday, 710 pilots were there, but after the NCLT news I don't know how many are still there.

Some might have obviously resigned and left.

I don't have the updated figure.

Why do you think no one wants to buy Jet Airways, as even Etihad backed out of the deal after showing initial interest?

No one wanted to buy Jet five days back or when the bank-led resolution process was going on.

Even when Etihad initiated their bid, it was conditional. They said only if someone takes a 'haircut' would they be interested.

There were financial and legal implications.

However, after Thursday's hearing I don't think any of those implications will exist.

I won't be surprised if there will be more buyers for Jet Airways after the NCLT hearing.

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

SYED FIRDAUS ASHRAF / Rediff.com
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