Bidding begins in search for new Jet Airways owner

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Bidders have just two days to express interest in the debt-ridden airline.

 

Jet Airways’ lenders invited initial bids to buy as much as 75 percent of the debt-laden carrier with the hope to inject $144m to keep the struggling carrier aloft.

 

The lead creditor, State Bank of India, said potential buyers must submit their interest by Wednesday.

 

Jet Airways was once India’s second largest carrier, credited with successfully breaking the monopoly of state-run Air India.

 

However, its fleet has since dwindled to only 26 planes from 124.

 

The carrier, which has posted losses in nine of the past 11 years, is currently saddled with more than $1.2 billion in debt.

 

The severity of Jet Airways’ crisis was underlined when Indian Oil Corporation refused to refuel the carrier’s planes for a few hours on Friday.

 

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways owns 24 per cent of the Indian airline.