Indian govt injects new optimism over Jet Airways future

The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), India's sovereign wealth fund, may also be willing to invest in Jet
Indian govt injects new optimism over Jet Airways future
Industry sources said SBI may initiate fresh discussions with some of the private equity investors to take a stake in Jet.
By James Mathew
Sun 02 Jun 2019 10:29 AM

Efforts to revive the grounded Indian airline Jet Airways gathered fresh momentum from the country's new federal government, with indications that it is keen to explore ways to get the airline back in the skies soon.

The government wants to try to save more than 20,000 jobs in Jet Airways and is keen to support efforts to revive the airline as soon as possible, sources said.

According to federal civil aviation ministry sources, a meeting is likely to take place early this week between State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar and senior ministry officials in Delhi to review the current situation.

Sources said the SBI chairman was scheduled to meet the aviation ministry officials on Friday but no discussions took place as the officials were busy with the new civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri taking charge that afternoon.

The SBI-led lenders consortium’s efforts to revive Jet Airways have not made any progress so far, though the London-based Indian business group Hindujas has shown interest in investing in Jet, but is not interested in becoming the majority partner.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which holds 24 percent stake in Jet Airways, was the lone bidder for the airline in response to SBI Capital's invitations for bids.

Industry sources said SBI may initiate fresh discussions with some of the private equity investors to take a stake in Jet.

Besides PEs, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), India’s sovereign wealth fund, may also be willing to invest in Jet if a government-backed initiative comes, these sources said.

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