REFILE-TIMELINE-Debt-laden Jet Airways’ rocky ride

(Corrects to add ‘Timeline’ tag in headline) Jan 11 () – Jet Airways Ltd, India’s biggest full-service carrier, has been under dark clouds for the most part of the past year, and several efforts are on to save the sinking airline. While intense pricing competition, weak rupee and rising fuel costs have hurt Indian airlines like IndiGo owned by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd and SpiceJet Ltd, Jet Airways is in a league of its own. Saddled with a debt of about 80.52 billion rupees ($1.14 billion) as of Sept. 30, Jet is desperately searching for a deal that could help mitigate its severe liquidity crunch. The airline has a market capitalisation of 28.81 billion rupees as of Friday’s close. Here’s how Jet has fared: May 3 – Jet shares fall 12.3 percent after InterGlobe Aviation reported a slump in net profit for March-quarter a day earlier May 23 – Jet posts first quarterly loss in at least 12 quarters, says it has a negative net worth that ‘may create uncertainties’ Aug 1 – Media report says Jet asked employees to take an up to 25 percent cut in salaries as a part of a cost cutting measure Aug 3 – Jet denies report that it cannot fly beyond 60 days, and dismisses conjecture of stake sale Aug 9 – Airline defers board meet for first-quarter results Aug 11 – After State Bank of India chairman says Jet’s loan is on the bank’s watch list, Jet says it is regular in payment obligations to all banks Aug 13 – Airline reaffirms that it is considering various options to meet its funding requirements Aug 15 – Report says U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP is in talks to buy a stake in Jet’s frequent-flier loyalty programme JetPrivilege Aug 20 – Sources tell that private equity firm TPG Capital is considering investing in Jet, but is not close to finalising a deal Aug 27 – Jet posts loss for the June-quarter, says it will inject funds and cut costs by more than 20 billion rupees in two years Sept 4 – Government plans relief package for airlines Sept 6 – Jet says it paid salaries to 84 percent of its employees after reports emerge that pilots warned ‘non-cooperation’ over salary default Sept 20 – Income Tax department conducts survey at Jet’s premises • Over two dozen passengers on a Jet flight are treated for minor injuries after the plane loses cabin pressure Oct 4 – Rating agency ICRA downgrades here the company’s long term loans and NCDs, citing impact of steep increase in jet fuel prices, rupee depreciation, delay in implementation of liquidity initiatives Oct 18 – Report says Indian conglomerate Tata Group is in talks to buy stake in Jet. Jet calls report “speculative” Oct 30 – U.S.-based Delta Air Lines Inc expresses interest to buy Jet stake from promoter Naresh Goyal and Etihad Airways Nov 5 – Report says Tata aims to buy the 51 percent stake in the airline owned by Naresh Goyal, and Etihad Airways’ 24 percent stake, and merge Jet with Vistara Nov 12 – Jet posts third straight quarterly loss, chief executive officer Vinay Dube expresses confidence in overcoming current challenges Nov 13 – Tata Sons begins due diligence to buy Jet, reports say • Jet executive says company is in talks with multiple parties for a stake sale in its loyalty program, and equity infusion in the airline Nov 15 – Shares surge nearly 25 percent following reports that the debt-laden airline was nearing a rescue deal with Tata Sons; another report says the Indian government asked Tata to explore buying Jet Nov 16 – Tata Sons says discussions on Jet is preliminary and no proposal has been made Nov 20 – Tata Sons may go slow on Jet deal after some directors from Tata’s board expressed concerns, according to media reports Nov 21 – The airline says news on Naresh Goyal, Etihad discussing merger of JetPrivilege with Jet Airways is speculative Nov 22 – Independent director Ranjan Mathai resigns, citing rising pressure from other commitments Nov 26 – Report says Naresh Goyal may hand over Jet Airways ops to Etihad Airways Dec 3 – Jet says it will stop providing free meals to most domestic economy class passengers from January, in its latest move to cut costs and boost revenues Dec 5 – Jet and Etihad Airways have been holding rescue talks with Jet’s bankers, sources tell Dec 6 – Jet tells its pilot union it will clear all salary dues by April, and gives them schedule outlining when the payments will be made, source tells Dec 7 – ICRA cuts here Jet rating yet again, cites delays in implementation of the proposed liquidity initiatives by Jet’s management Dec 14 – Goyal’s penchant for control has come up as a major obstacle as the airline tries to negotiate a rescue deal, several people who have worked closely with him or known him over the years tell Jan 2 – The airline says it has delayed payment to a consortium of Indian banks, led by SBI; ICRA cuts rating again Jan 10 – Jet proposes to creditors that it will catch up with debt payments in arrears by September and from April will meet debt payments as they come due, according to a document seen by Jan 11 – Crisis talks between Jet and aircraft lessors have failed to ease a row over late payments, prompting some lessors to explore taking back aircraft, three people familiar with the matter tell . Etihad is not “in any position to sink new equity into Jet at this juncture,” says a person familiar with Etihad’s position. ($1 = 70.5090 Indian rupees) Compiled by Arnab Paul and Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing
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