Jet Airways lenders are discussing replacing Etihad Airways with a new investor after the Abu Dhabi-based airline offered to sell its stake in the beleaguered airline, sources told CNBC-TV18 on Wednesday.
The new investor is likely to be an investment fund, said the sources, who did not want to be named, adding that the banks are hoping to initiate talks with a few investment funds that had done due diligence on Jet Airways earlier.
The new investor will be in addition to the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) that had proposed to pick up 20 percent as part of the plan, the sources added.
The plan was discussed in Tuesday's meeting after Etihad Airways proposed to exit Jet Airways by selling its stake to either lenders or a new investor at Rs 150 per share, as reported by CNBC-TV18.
Etihad holds 24 percent stake in Jet Airways and was widely expected to be a major helping hand for the beleaguered airline. The airline had asked for interim funding support of Rs 750 crore from Etihad to continue operations. However, the board meeting of Etihad on the matter was inconclusive.
On Monday, Jet Airways suspended operations to and from Abu Dhabi, Etihad's base, citing "operational reasons".
Adding to its woes, Jet Airways' pilots on Tuesday imposed a deadline on Naresh Goyal, threatening to stop flying from April 1 if the salaries are not paid. The pilots also conducted a silent march on non-payment of salaries, forcing chief executive officer Vinay Dube to fly to Mumbai late night to address them.
Jet Airways has more than Rs 8,000 crore in debt and is looking for urgent liquidity infusion to pay its pilots, engineers and make payments to its lessors.
As per ICRA's report, the airline has large repayments due in March to the tune of Rs 1,700 crores and further Rs 2,445 crore due in FY20 and Rs 2,168 crore due in FY21.