Lessors repossess 7 more Jet planes

Aviation

Jet Airways Ltd had to ground seven more of its planes as it did not pay its lessors their due. Thus, the tally of planes withdrawn from its fleet due to the defaults in lease payments up to 13.

Jet Airways has a fleet of about 123 mainly Boeing planes, including 16-owned aircraft. The rest are leased from a range of lessors including GE Capital Aviation Services, U.S.-based BBAM and Japan’s SMBC Aviation Capital.

International aircraft lessors had earlier grounded more Jet Airways planes before potentially moving them out of India, as skepticism built over whether the bailout of Jet Airways can clear their dues on time.

Jet Airways had to actively engage all its aircraft lessors. The airline has said, “Its aircraft lessors have been supportive of the company’s efforts to improve liquidity.”

With debts of more than $1 billion, Jet has defaulted on loans and has not paid its staff, leasing firms and other vendors for months.

The loss-making commercial airline approved a rescue deal in mid-February after months of talks to plug an Rs 8,500 crore funding hole.

The plan, which has also been approved by Jet shareholders, includes selling a majority stake to a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India , the airline’s biggest creditor, at Rs 1.