• Sunday, April 14, 2024


Hinduja Group considering bid for India’s Jet Airways

Gopichand Hinduja (L) and Srichand Hinduja (Photo: Getty Images).

By: Radhakrishna N S

HINDUJA Group said it was considering a bid for India’s grounded airline, Jet Airways Ltd.

The family-run business is in discussions with Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and investor Etihad which holds a minority stake in the airline.

Middle Eastern airline, Etihad has expressed its interest in re-investing in the grounded airline subject to certain conditions.

The Indian conglomerate is also in talks with the lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) which is already in search for potential investors, Indian daily- The Economic Times reported, citing sources.

The daily earlier said Hinduja brothers would start the bidding process this week.

Hinduja brothers had tied up with German airline Lufthansa’s air cargo services business in the 1990s.

According to the media reports, the group had looked at a possible stake in India’s national carrier, Air India when the company was moved forward for privatisation, however, a deal failed to materialize.

Hinduja Group owns a wide range of businesses including automotive, financial services, oil and gas, media, telecom, and others.

The Hinduja Group, a family business, was founded in Mumbai in 1914.

British citizens Srichand Hinduja, 83, and Gopichand Hinduja, 79, who are based in London, are two of the four brothers controlling the business empire.

In recent weeks, the lessors have intensified their activities to deregister and repossess planes after Jet Airways stopped its all operations indefinitely.

Hundreds of pilots, staff members, engineers, and top executives including the chief executive of the airline have already moved out of the company.

Valuable slots of Jet Airways reallocated to other airlines.

The airline struggled to compete with low-cost carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet that now dominate Indian skies and the debt-laden carrier was forced to ground its entire fleet last month, resulting in the loss of over 20,000 jobs.

Jet Airways has debts of more than $1 billion and been in a tailspin for months.

It defaulted on loans and failed to pay many staff since the start of the year.

After its lenders declined to extend more funds, the carrier was forced to ground its entire fleet on April 17, triggering protests by thousands of employees who have been not paid salaries.

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