Jet Airways creditors' claims balloon to Rs 30,558 cr as revival hopes fade

Only Jet Privilege’s claims have been admitted while Rs 230 crore claims of the general sales agent have been rejected
Claims submitted by creditors against Jet Airways have shot up from Rs 24,000 crore a month ago to Rs 30,558 crore now, making hopes of any revival of the defunct airline dimmer. 

This comes after Etihad Airways, which holds 24 per cent in Jet, said on Monday that it did not submit an expression of interest (EoI) for the airline due to unresolved issues pertaining to its liabilities. Jet, so far, has received two EoIs, one from Panama-based Avantulo Group and the other from Russian fund Treasury RA Creator. Anil Agarwal’s Volcan Investments had submitted an EoI last Saturday, but pulled out of the race two days later. 

Last month, Resolution Professional (RP) Ashish Chhawchharia had received the first set of claims to the tune of Rs 24,000 crore. The RP had admitted 33 claims from banks worth Rs 8,462 crore, and was verifying Rs 15,044-crore claims from operational creditors and staff.

In the revised claims data put out by the RP, of the total Rs 30,558 crore, the RP has accepted claims worth Rs 12,555 crore and rejected claims worth Rs 11,995 crore, with Rs 6,055 crore worth of claims still under verification. So far, Jet has received 18,596 claims, which include employees, of which 13,911 claims have been admitted. 

In the revised estimate, financial creditors’ claims worth Rs 8,272 crore have been admitted and Rs 1,747 crore worth of claims have been rejected, with more than Rs 200 crore worth of claims still under verification. 

So far as the operational creditors are concerned (excluding the employees), the RP has admitted Rs 3,321 crore of claims and rejected claims of Rs 8,865 crore, with Rs 5,741 crore worth of claims still under verification. 

Naresh Goyal-owned group companies, including the airline's general sales agent in India and abroad, and a car rental firm, are among those who have filed claims. Jet Privilege (Jet's loyalty programme), Etihad Airways, and its group companies have filed claims too. Only Jet Privilege’s claims have been admitted while Rs 230 crore claims of the general sales agent have been rejected. Similarly, one of the group companies of Etihad – Etihad Airport Services Catering's – claim has been admitted by the RP.  

The workmen and employees of the beleaguered airline have submitted claims to the tune of Rs 545 crore, of which more than Rs 237 crore worth of claims have been accepted by the RP and Rs 225 crore worth of claims rejected. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had asked the RP to discuss with the committee of creditors so that some kind of interim funding could be arranged to pay off salaries of the employees. 

However, the CoC could not give any assurance on interim funding. The RP had said that they are expecting about Rs 50-60 crore in the form of receivables which will be used to pay off at least a month’s salary to the aggrieved employees. Jet still has close to 7,500 employees on its payrolls. Prior to its grounding, it boasted of an employee base of over 14,000.

Among the financial creditors, State Bank of India, YES Bank, Punjab National Bank, IDBI Bank and Canara Bank have the largest exposure to the defunct airline. 

Shares of the defunct airline closed almost 5 per cent down on Friday at Rs 40.25 on the BSE.

Quarterly results delayed amid ‘complexities’

The resolution professional has informed the stock exchanges that the April-June quarter results of Jet have not been prepared because of complexities of issues the company is facing, along with the paucity of funding. Hence, the RP has said the entire process is taking time but attempts are being made to regularise issues at the earliest. The airline is currently going through the insolvency process.