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Jet Airways has sought Rs 400 crore emergency funds from banks, operation five planes currently: Civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola

File photo of Jet Airways aircraft is seen parked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, India. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 16, 2019, 07.40 PM (IST)

Civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said today that Jet Airways has sought emergency funds from banks.

The minister informed that the cash-strapped airlines has been operating just five planes. The airline had more than 120 aircraft operating a year ago.

Jet Airways said it is awaiting "emergency liquidity support" from the SBI-led consortium of lenders to arrest further deterioration in its services. Kharola said the airlines has sought Rs 400 crores emergency funds from banks.

"The company's leadership, in consultation with its board of directors, is engaged with lenders in connection with the said emergency funding request... The company is also in constant engagement with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Civil Aviation in this regard," it said in a filing to the BSE.

The filing was made in response to a clarification sought by the exchange regarding reports that the airline was likely to temporarily shut down its operations.

On Monday, Jet Airways shares tanked eight per cent amid reports of a shutdown. The scrip tumbled 7.62 per cent to close at Rs 241.85 on the BSE. During the day, it had plummeted 18.56 per cent to Rs 213.20.

Reports said Jet's lenders have been attempting to bring in a new investor to buy a stake of up to 75 per cent in the airline and initial expressions of interest were submitted last week.

Amid these reports, former Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal has opted out from bidding for stake acquisition in the ailing airline.

News agency Reuters reported that Jet Airways management has proposed to suspend all operations of the debt-laden airline at the board meeting today.

On Monday, the airline in a letter to its employees had said it planned to extend its suspension of international flights until Thursday as it had not received any interim funding from lenders.

The airline, which over and above its bank borrowings owes money to its lessors, staff and others, has been struggling for weeks after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about $217 million from its lenders as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March.

The airways is currently reeling under $1.2 billion in debt with its air operations at a near-standstill.

Meanwhile, Aviation regulator DGCA said it would continue to monitor airfare movements on a daily basis and also engage with other airlines for appropriate action in the wake of Jet Airways curtailing operations which has severely impacted flights on a number of routes.

Earlier in the day, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu had called for a review of issues related to struggling Jet Airways which including rising fares and flight cancellations.

"Airlines representative intimated DGCA that they have removed the few higher buckets from sale and offering tickets to passengers in lower fare buckets," the aviation regulator said.

Story highlights

Reports said Jet's lenders have been attempting to bring in a new investor to buy a stake of up to 75 per cent in the airline