Jet Airways scrip falls as more planes grounded

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Mumbai, Feb 28 (IANS) Jet Airways on Thursday said that it has grounded more aircraft, taking the total to 19, over its non-repayment of dues to lessors.

“Further to our letter dated 27 February, 2019, we now write to inform you that an additional six aircraft have been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their respective lease agreements,” the airline said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the airline had informed the stock exchanges that it had grounded a total of 13 aircraft. The additional grounding of six more that came on Thursday, might impact around 85 flights.

“The company is actively engaged with all its aircraft lessors and regularly provides them with updates on the efforts undertaken by the company to improve its liquidity,” the airline said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Some reports even suggested that the airline might have already grounded more than 20 aircraft over shortage of spare parts and inability to pay the lessors.

On Thursday, the airline’s scrip of Jet Airways fell by 0.91 per cent or Rs 2.05 to Rs 222.80 from its previous close of Rs 224.85. It had touched an intra-day low of Rs 211.

A senior Civil Aviation Ministry official on Wednesday confirmed that the beleaguered airline has grounded a “significant number” of aircraft.

According to the official, the airline did inform the DGCA about the grounding and the regulator is monitoring the situation.

Lately, Jet Airways has been in a tight spot financially even as a rescue plan is being negotiated between the airline, its partner Etihad and a consortium of banks.

The latest development comes a day after the State Bank of India (SBI) held a meeting at its headquarters with key stakeholders to take forward the proposal to convert a part its loans into shares.

However, company sources said that another round of meeting is expected to take place soon.

–IANS

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