Ace Aviation has got a green signal from Indian court to acquire three Boeing 777 belonging to Jet Airways. These aircraft are parked at Mumbai Airport since 2019, when the airline announced bankruptcy.
Jet Airways Boeing 777 have new owner
In mid 2022, during bidding process of three Jet Airways Boeing 777 overseen by Monitoring Committee of the airline, Malta based Ace Aviation came out as a winning bidder. Ace Aviation plans to use these aircraft after converting them to freighters.
Challenge Airlines will use them as freighters. Ace Aviation paid the amount required from the winning bidder. Furthermore, it paid additional amount to acquire 2 more Boeing 777s belonging to Jet Airways in future bidding.
In November 2022, the sale process came to a halt when Jet Airways Monitoring Committee came to a disagreement. Lenders wanted to sell these aircraft but Jalan-Kalrock Consortium wanted to preserve these assets. As a result of this, Ace Aviation had a bear a gap of almost 1 year to acquire these widebody jets.
No hurdles now
A month ago, National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) cleared Ace Aviation to acquire these aircraft. As expected, the winning bidder Jalan-Kalrock Consortium was not happy and contested this NCLT order in front of Appellate Tribunal. Along with JKC, a employee union named All-India Jet Airways Officers and Staff Association also filed an appeal contesting this decision.
Now, the Appellate Tribunal NCLAT has dismissed both pleas. NCLAT said that the sale of these aircraft does not violate anyone’s rights. The money generated through this sale will go in a separate account and will be distributed among everyone as stated in resolution plan. The lenders and JKC can mutually decide as well.
Ace Aviation has already deposited Rs 50 crore out of promised Rs 400 crore. It is planning to deposit rest of the amount as well.
Conversion to Freighter
Now, Challenge Airlines will acquire this aircraft. Here comes the toughest task. These aircraft are on ground for last 4 years with very minimum amount of maintenance. Giving these birds wings will be the most difficult task. It will easily take 8-9 months to bring them back to operational status. After this, these aircraft will be converted to freighters and will operate for Challenge Airlines. Challenge Airlines currently operates a fleet of Boeing 747 freighters.
Challenge Airlines CEO Eshel Heffetz expressed gratitude to the NCLAT for approving the sale of Jet Airways aircraft to Ace Aviation. We understand how critical it is to complete the transaction quickly in order to avoid any loss of asset value, as a drawn-out sale process would worsen the aircraft’s condition and affect the deal’s commercial feasibility. To speed the completion of this transaction, we are convinced that all parties concerned will continue to collaborate in a sensible and practical manner, adhering to aviation standards.
Source : Business Standard