Lenders shortlist four investors for Jet Airways

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Private airline Jet Airways on Wednesday said that it has made a decision to suspend all its operations, domestic as well as global.

Since April 11 Jet Airways has stopped operating its sole global flight from Bengaluru-the daily 9W235 flight to Amsterdam.

Jet's CEO Vinay Dube, in a letter to employees on Wednesday that was seen by Reuters, warned that the sales process would take some time and could throw up several more challenges, but he added that he was confident Jet Airways would fly again.

The airline, saddled with roughly $1.2 billion of bank debt, has been teetering for weeks after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about $217 million from its lenders, as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March.

In a press statement this morning, Jet Airways said it was unable to pay for fuel and other service to keep flights going.

Accordingly, the last flight will leave the Amritsar airport at 2230 hrs for New Delhi as per its flight schedule.

The uncertainty over the crucial funding crashed Jet Airways stock on Tuesday, with shares plunging around 20 percent.

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Late last night, Jet Airways was informed by State Bank of India, on behalf of the consortium of lenders, that they were unable to consider its request for critical interim funding, the airline said in the statement.

It's, however, not clear whether the airline's decision shut operations is temporary.

Jet Airways, the Mumbai-headquartered airline, will be suspending operations from today, April 17, 2019, on a temporary basis.

The airline added that it had "tried every means possible to seek both interim and long-term funding" over the last few weeks.

At its peak, Jet had over 120 planes and hundreds of daily flights.

"Our load factor could increase to up to 10 to 12 per cent as their passengers are being accommodated on out flights on worldwide routes", Air India spokesperson Praveen Bhatnagar told Bangalore Mirror. "It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else", the liquor baron said. Banks Tuesday identified four bidders-Etihad Airways, the national investment fund NIIF, private player TPG and another fund house Indigo Partners as eligible bidders who have time till May 10 to submit the final financial bids. "We are actively working to try and ensure that the bid process leads to a viable solution for the company". Meanwhile, a State Bank of India (SBI) led consortium of 13 Indian banks continue their attempt to enforce a worldwide freezing order upheld by the UK High Court in May a year ago through a number of follow up court orders to try and recoup some of the GBP 1.145 billion owed to them.

"For example, we don't have an answer today to the very important question of what happens to the employees during the sale process", he said.