Jet Airways needs immediate funds. At least to the tune of 1000 crores [Rs 983 crores according to CEO] to be able to save some jobs and restart operations.
Late Wednesday night [17th April 2019], Jet Airways was reported as having temporarily shut down operations on its domestic and international flights.
The airline later confirmed that the 10:30 PM flight was indeed the last one. This, because the Jet Airways management had no money left in its accounts. Also, it's lenders had refused to provide interim-funds necessary to fly.
No soon had the reports surfaced, employees, share-holders and the general public including users of this portal and twitter shared their concerns and some even shared their prayers for the staff of Jet Airways.
Jet Airways has 20,000 employees. Official count says that 15% of pilots and senior management were waiting three months of salaries. The entire workforce has not received salary for the month of March. Agencies say that the financial burden has affected many employees and some of them had to break their life-savings to sustain working. Some of them were reported as applying for jobs at rival airlines such as SpiceJet, IndiGo and Vistara at a nearly 30-50% drop in salaries.
Investors and existing lenders too have claimed a difficulty in adding more funds. Debts have turned caustic. Into at least Rs 8100 crores piling on the balance sheets and bringing down stock valuations. An hour before end of trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday, Jet Airways' stock plunged by at least 30%. The stock was down by 80.30 points at Rs 163.75 per share. In terms of volumes some 18.41 lakh shares had been sold and 70,000 shares being purchased. The number of shares sold is expected to rise, bringing the share price to its historical lowest.
However, the company's official letter to the Bombay Stock Exchange hints of a revival.
In its response to the exchange house, the airline said, "The Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been received and bid documents have been issued to the eligible recipients today [Wednesday]. The bid documents inter alia has solicited plans for a quick revival of the company. The bid process will conclude on 10th May 2019... We are actively working to try and ensure that the bid process leads to a viable solution for the company."
On Wednesday, Jet's CEO Vinay Dube remained hopeful of a take-off but wasn't sure if all 20,000 employees would be left with jobs. He wrote to employees, "we must also be realistic that the sale process will take some time and will throw up several more challenges for us, many of which we don't have the answer today."
"Late last night we were informed by SBI, on behalf of the consortium of the lenders, that they are unable to consider our request for interim funding of Rs 983 crores..."
"But, tomorrow is another day and tomorrow provides us with new hope, new opportunity and new expectations we are worth investing in, you are worth investing in and we are confident that we will be back to share the joy of flying with our fellow-guests once again," wrote Dube signing off on an emotional touch.
Latest reports say that of the four bidders, only one consortium has been left as a viable option. Besides demanding that Naresh Goyal be ousted completely from Jet, this consortium was also reported as seeking a 100% write-off on debts.
Only 1 Bidder for Jet Airways now Consortium of Etihad, TPG & NIIF.- Aadesh Rawal (@AadeshRawal) April 18, 2019
This consortium is asking for the full write-off of the entire debt of Jet.
Whether Jet takes-off or not, the imminent losers are staff, customers and the share holders.
Our reader Ramnath G, shared his thoughts and prayed for a revival before Easter. He replied to our story on 20,000 jobs being lost.
"I have personally felt a sense of personal loss and sadness,at the nose dive of Jet Airways!I recall,nostalgically,the refuelling of the first Jet Airways Flight from Kolkata to Mumbai on 5th of May,1993,as GM of HPCL.East Zone.All that is left is a group photograph with the crew and cabin attendants,of the beleaguered airline.Jet Airways had attained,international standards,in terms of image,punctuality and inflight service.Its colour code,was akin to Lufthansa!!Hope there's someone coming forward to resurrect the Airline!What better time than Easter!!"
Here are some tweets on the fiasco.
Awful feeling to see no @jetairways tails or staff at Delhi's T3. Spare a thought for 16000+ brilliant employees who built and ran India's finest airline for 25 years. Here's wishing you all the best, and I am sure you will be back flying soon.- Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) April 17, 2019
Bollywood Actor Anupam Kher:
This is such a sad news. I really loved the professionalism, the service and the people of ?@jetairways?. Hope things change for this airlines soon.??- Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) April 17, 2019
Jet Airways temporarily shuts down all operations https://t.co/NHJPwHjvuY
Must Read: NaMo TV to follow 48 hour silence
So we are stranded in India. We booked flights through Expedia @ExpediaUK are saying they'll refund £1.50 booking fee & to claim a charge via our bank to get refund from Jet Airways but no mention of how we get home!!- SelLest (@LestSel) April 18, 2019
Why doesn't the government encourage the Tatas to buy Jet Airways? They are an ethical, decent group with interests in aviation and a record of looking after their employees. They are a global conglomerate and yet they are thoroughly Indian.- vir sanghvi (@virsanghvi) April 18, 2019
Obvious match. https://t.co/QDEzrUUp28
Remember to study the Sector History before investing in a particular stock.. Jet airways is trending today as history.. ?????? pic.twitter.com/3fZtqmSAGk- mahavir bafna (@mahavir117) April 18, 2019
Over Rs. 6900 crores ($1 Billion) pours in within days to save Notre Dame and in the end we couldn't collect Rs. 983 crores to save Notre Jet Airways??- Atul Khatri (@one_by_two) April 18, 2019
Mukeshbhai - help! We will forgive you for Antilia and Nitaben's solo dance performances..
One of the darkest moments in corporate Indian history. People don't understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur & build India's finest airline, backbone of our aviation economy, in this most unforgiving Country. Deepest respect for Mr Naresh Goyal & all @jetairways staff ?? https://t.co/4t3EJnDKhh- Siddharth Jain (@JainSiddharth_) April 17, 2019
Picture of Jet Airways ground staff before the LAST FLIGHT took off from Amritsar...- Vikram Singh (@VksinghSingh62) April 18, 2019
Good to see that in these troubled times they are still managing a smile and trying to keep their spirits high. Please Save #JetAirwaysCrisis @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/dnPbSvU2RI
Thoughts this morning with Jet Airways employees. Dont understand bankers logic: you bailout the promoters but won't fund/rescue the airline.. more jobs lost, no salaries paid, SBI looks on! #JetAirways- Citizen/??????/Dost Rajdeep (@sardesairajdeep) April 18, 2019
Whom should i blame??? booked a ticket with 3 passengers in feb and now the go ibibo says my ticket for other two passengers cancelled with my consent and told to call jet ..Now the airlines and agents canceling tickets without our consent #goibibo #JetAirways .Even no refund pic.twitter.com/7UvRM1bKOk- arvind mohanan (@MohananArvind) April 17, 2019
Journalist Sachin Kalbag shares an emotional anecdote.
Thread:- Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) April 18, 2019
I know everyone is either emotional or judgmental about #JetAirways shutting operations, but the real victims in this entire process, IMO, are the supremely hardworking airline staff, both on-ground and in the air.
Allow me to recall a small incident.
First thought -- the @jetairways employees certainly didnt' deserve this. And those responsible for letting this happen -- NG, Banks, Regulators and worse -- politicians across parties who allowed NG's manipulations deserve to be flogged!! Country suffers! https://t.co/CbZN3eFnv9- Sucheta Dalal (@suchetadalal) April 17, 2019
An old article on Jet Airways - Naresh Goyal pic.twitter.com/6XVFZXj8M4- R. Balakrishnan (@BalakrishnanR) April 18, 2019
SAVE THE JETAIRWAYS pic.twitter.com/c9z9dw3rp1- Madhavi (@Madhavi63070748) April 18, 2019
Here is an April 3 dated statement from Naresh Goyal.
Statement by Mr. Naresh Goyal. pic.twitter.com/v61nqg8qlZ- Jet Airways (@jetairways) April 3, 2019
Even as the last flight on Wednesday took off on an emotional note, Twitter trends on Thursday suggest the elections as biggest trend-setters. Mukesh Ambani getting featured on the TIME list too has been a top trending topic.