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Pilots of grounded Jet Airways move SC seeking interim funding from SBI

twitter-logoPTI | May 7, 2019 | Updated 20:43 IST

New Delhi, May 7 (PTI) Pilots of grounded Jet Airways moved the Supreme Court Tuesday seeking direction to SBI to provide the assured interim finance for restarting operations, suspension of which has affected the livelihood of around 22,000 employees. The petition filed by National Aviators Guild has sought a direction to the Centre and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to disallow slots of Jet Airways to other airlines on permanent basis. The plea, filed by advocate Gaurav Agrawal, has sought that the airline should not get deregistered. The distressed airlines, which had 115 aircraft, started suffering losses and could not pay the employees from last December. The Board of Directors of the company had approved a plan on March 25 which envisaged infusing of Rs 1,500 crore over a period of time by SBI so that the company could be sold as a going concern but the promised funds were not disbursed, the plea said. It said that SBI's decision not to infuse money was responsible for the operations of the airlines coming to stop and its substantial devaluation. "The respondents have deliberately, or otherwise brought down the value of Jet Airways and as of now there are no bidders who have submitted the bid to SBI. Consequently the employees of Jet Airwyas have not been paid for last four months and have lost all hope of the revival of the airlines," the plea said. It said the Centre, DGCA, Airports Authority of India and others have failed to appreciate the value of company which lies in the flight slots and the seats available in the international sector through various bilateral agreements. "Despite the fact that an expression of interest has been invited and bid to process to find a new purchaser is underway, the Centre and DGCA have already started allotting slots of Jet Airways in various airports to other airlines which has seriously undermined the value of the company," the plea said. The petition said that such acts of the Centre and DGCA were highly prejudicial to employees of the company who have been waiting to get paid for last five months and have been looking forward to the resolution in bid process. "If the value of the company is deliberately undermined, the future of the employees would be at stake as there would be hardly any bidder who would be willing to take up share in the company," the plea said. PTI LLP SJK RKS SA

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