SBI Boss Insists Bankruptcy ‘Last Option’ for Jet Airways

State Bank of India’s (SBI) chairman said on Wednesday that putting Jet Airways into bankruptcy is the “last option” and that its lenders are making every effort to keep the airline flying, Gulf News reported. “We believe that it is in everybody’s interest that Jet Airways continues to fly,” SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters after a meeting with government officials, adding that placing Jet into bankruptcy would mean grounding the airline. Jet has racked up over $1 billion in debt, and owes money to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors — some of whom have started terminating their lease deals with the carrier. The government has asked state-run banks to rescue Jet without pushing it into bankruptcy, two people within the administration have told Reuters as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to avert thousands of job losses weeks before a general election. New Delhi has urged state-run banks, led by SBI, to convert debt into equity and take a stake in Jet, which would however be “transitory”, in a rare move in India to use taxpayer money to save a struggling private sector company. Read more

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