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March 13, 2024

NCLAT Greenlights Transfer of Jet Airways Ownership to Jalan Kalrock Consortium: Key Milestone Reached in Airline’s Revival

In a pivotal development for the revival of Jet Airways, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has upheld the transfer of ownership to Jalan Kalrock Consortium (JKC). Nearly a year after initially permitting the transfer in January 2023, the appellate tribunal’s decision marks a significant step forward in resolving the longstanding legal battle surrounding the airline’s ownership.

The NCLAT’s directive mandates lenders to facilitate the transfer within a 90-day timeframe, emphasizing the urgency of the process. Additionally, JKC has been tasked with obtaining an air operator’s certificate by the conclusion of this window, underscoring the tribunal’s commitment to expediting the airline’s operational reestablishment.

The ruling follows a series of legal maneuvers and negotiations between JKC and Jet Airways’ creditors, chief among them being the State Bank of India, the airline’s largest lender. With Jet Airways collapsing in April 2019 and subsequent admission of creditor claims amounting to Rs 78 billion ($941.3 million), the ownership transfer has been fraught with complexities and financial intricacies.

Central to the NCLAT’s decision is the adjustment of the Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) of Rs 150 crore towards the initial tranche payment of Rs 350 crore. This adjustment, coupled with previous financial transactions, signifies a concerted effort to streamline the resolution process and address the concerns of all stakeholders involved.

While legal battles have persisted, including JKC’s recent plea challenging the sale of Jet Airways’ aircraft, the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the appeal underscores the judiciary’s inclination towards facilitating the airline’s revival. The court’s recognition of the potential benefits arising from the aircraft sale, including infusion of funds and support for the revival process, reinforces the importance of collaborative efforts in steering Jet Airways towards recovery.

Notably, the NCLAT’s decision resonates beyond legal realms, aiming to alleviate the financial hardships faced by Jet Airways employees amidst the airline’s insolvency proceedings. By advancing the ownership transfer and affirming subsequent financial arrangements, the tribunal seeks to instill confidence among employees and pave the way for their eventual reinstatement.

Despite the challenges ahead, including regulatory approvals and operational restructuring, the NCLAT’s approval of the ownership transfer represents a beacon of hope for Jet Airways’ revival. With concerted efforts from all parties involved, the airline stands poised to reclaim its position in the aviation industry, marking a testament to resilience and collaborative resolve in navigating turbulent times.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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