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India's Jet Airways creditors agree to new owners after months of talks

London- and UAE-based investors to pump capital into grounded airline

Jet Airways aircraft parked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, April 18.   © Reuters

MUMBAI (Reuters) -- India's Jet Airways would be acquired by an investor consortium under a multi-million dollar resolution plan approved by the carrier's creditors on Saturday.

The plan submitted by a consortium of London-based Kalrock Capital and UAE-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan comes after months of talks over the airline's future and was confirmed in a regulatory filing, which gave no details of the deal.

A source close to the situation said the new owners had agreed to pump in 10 billion rupees ($136 million) as working capital for the revival of the airline. Another 10 billion rupees will be given to creditors over a period of five years.

Financial creditors of the airline will also get 10% stake in the company, the source said, though the plan remains subject to approvals from the bankruptcy court and the country's airline regulator.

Jet -- which operated a fleet of more than 120 planes serving dozens of domestic destinations and international hubs such as Singapore, London and Dubai -- was forced in April 2019 to ground all flights, crippled by mounting losses as it attempted to compete with low-cost rivals.

After Jet halted operations at least 280 slots were vacant in Mumbai and 160 in Delhi, which were then given to its rivals. The revival plan is also based on getting some of these slots back.

"The plan is to ramp up slowly and to increase capacity gradually as they will be starting afresh," the source said. Any resumption of flights will likely not happen for between three and six months at least.

Since its operations were halted the airline and its lenders had been looking for suitors. Jet’s financial and operational creditors were owed nearly 300 billion rupees after the operations were halted.

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