Jet Airways: Kalrock-Jalan consortium seeks task force on airport slots

Topics Jet Airways | NCLT

Photo: Bloomberg
Kalrock-Jalan consortium has sought the creation of a task force for allocation of slots and traffic rights to Jet Airways on principle of historicity.

The consortium has made this request in its affidavit before the National Law Company Tribunal. It said the task force comprising members from the consortium, resolution professional and civil aviation ministry can be given three months to find an amicable solution, which also protects Jet Airways’ claim over airport slots and traffic rights.

Kalrock-Jalan consortium’s submissions and civil aviation ministry’s arguments on the issue will be heard on Wednesday.

In its submission last week, the civil aviation ministry had said airport slots are not an asset of Jet Airways and it cannot claim historical precedence over them.

The consortium has contested the  ministry’s contention and said the slots are indeed a key intangible asset for the airline and Jet Airways’ slots cannot be granted to other airlines on a permanent basis since it is under insolvency.

While the slot allocation guidelines of 2013 are based on international norms, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code provides for a moratorium and thus Jet’s slots too would be protected under the code, it has said.

The consortium has added that the whole purpose of resolution and revival will be defeated if the slots held by Jet Airways prior to its collapse are not reinstated.

Jet Airways shut down in April 2019, following a cash crunch, and is under insolvency since June of that year. The airline’s slots and traffic rights were then allocated to other airlines, enabling them to fill the capacity vacuum and launch new services.

In its earlier affidavit in December 2019, the civil aviation ministry had said Jet's slots and traffic rights were allocated to other airlines in the larger public interest and purely on a temporary basis.  However, the government’s latest affidavit — filed last weeek—  was silent on the issue.

The ministry said allocating slots to revive Jet Airways would not be an issue, in view of the upgrade of existing airports and the construction of new airports, including Jewar, Mopa, and Navi Mumbai.

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