Volcan Investments (VI), which is the family trust of mining and metal businessman Anil Agarwal has submitted an expression of interest (EoI) to revive ailing Jet Airways. The trust pointed out that the move is “exploratory” in nature and that the “EoI is in no way linked to Vedanta”.
Three international entities — including Panama-based fund Avantulo Group and VI — had submitted their bids for Jet by the deadline set by the resolution professional (RP) handling the grounded airline’s case at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Jet’s 24% stakeholder Etihad Airways stayed away from the process.
“Volcan Investment, investment company for Anil Agarwal in an exploratory move, has sought an EoI for Jet Airways, to understand the business scenario for the company and the industry,” the trust said in a statement.
Interestingly, another British-NRI business group — the Hindujas, which had shown preliminary interest in Jet — did not submit any EoI for the airline, but the London-based Agarwal’s family trust did.
Jet was grounded on April 17-18, 2019.
The RP will decide on the eligibility of bids by Tuesday. Eligible bidders will have to submit their plans to revive Jet by September 12. The NCLT will then decide on the final resolution plan on September 27.
India had three full service carriers (FSCs) — Air India, Jet and Vistara — till April 17, and now there are only two. Air India itself faces an uncertain future with the government planning to start its divestment process.
“India may no longer be the world’s fastest growing aviation market, but it’s a steadily growing one. A market of this size needs two FSCs that can fly passengers between India and other parts of the world like the Americas, Australia, Europe and Africa — non-stop. We really hope at least one of them, AI or Jet, gets a solid buyer. Otherwise we will continue to be a rich catchment area for mediumto long-haul flights,” said a senior airline official, who did not wish to be named.