Jet Airways’ financial problems took a turn for the worse on Tuesday with partner Etihad formally asking State Bank of India to purchase its stake in the airline and the pilots’ union threatening to strike work from April 1 if salary arrears are not cleared.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline, which owns about 24% in Jet, has been a reluctant participant in discussions to resolve Jet’s financial woes. Etihad conveyed to SBI its decision to exit Jet in a meeting on Monday.
People close to the situation said Etihad wants SBI to buy out its stake and also take over its liabilities in the form of a guarantee for Jet’s loan from HSBC Dubai. Etihad has also offered its 50.1% stake in Jet Privilege to SBI.
“Etihad wants to exit Jet completely. Any decision now has to come from SBI,” a source said. Etihad CEO Tony Douglas is believed to have discussed this with SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar on Monday. Read More