Jet Airways delays payment to debtors, share tanks 6%

In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the company said the payment of interest and principal instalment was delayed "due to temporary cash flow mismatch"

Jet Airways Ltd has delayed the payment to a State Bank of India-led consortium of banks, the company said late on Tuesday.

In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the company said the payment of interest and principal instalment was delayed "due to temporary cash flow mismatch". The company is in talks with the consortium in this regard, it said.

The deadline for the payment was December 31, 2018, Jet said in a statement. As of March 2018, the company’s gross debt stood at Rs 9,425 crore. Recently, the company also delayed payment to its employees and vendors.

The company's shares were traded at Rs 261.45, a drop of 6.89% over the previous close on BSE.

Jet and its second-largest shareholder Etihad Airways are in talks with bankers on a rescue deal that may involve the Abu Dhabi-based airline increasing its stake from 24 percent.

For the quarter ended September 2018, Jet Airways reported a net loss of Rs 1,292 crore from a net profit of Rs 46 crore a year ago. Revenue for the quarter grew 10% to Rs 6,161 crore. Fuel expenses grew 59% to Rs 2,420 crore.

"The airline continues to engage with financial stakeholders for supporting its funding requirements till it starts generating an operational surplus and is actively working on the monetisation of its assets and capital infusion," the company said in a statement after announcing the second quarter results.

Jet Airways board last month discussed ways to raise funds without taking an investor on board as chairman Naresh Goyal does not want to give up control in the loss-making carrier he set up 25 years ago, PTI reported quoting sources.

At an unscheduled board meeting at the airline's headquarters in Mumbai, which lasted for over four hours, various cost-reduction measures also came up for discussions, said the source.

In the red for three consecutive quarters, Jet Airways has been gasping for funds to keep the airline afloat amid liquidity crunch.

However, amid all this, rating agency Icra has downgraded Jet Airways' long-term rating for the second time in recent months and its largest lender SBI ordered for a "forensic" audit of the listed airline's books.

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