Airlines and NCLT: Jet Airways case throws lessons

By Times Of India

The insolvency resolution process of Jet Airways, the first Indian carrier to attempt a revival after a transit halt in the bankruptcy court, has raised challenges that could lead to a better understanding of how the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) works when it comes to airlines, said experts tracking the matter.

Jet trade unions have challenged the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approval of the Kalrock-Jalan consortium’s resolution plan in the appellate tribunal. Staffers’ employment prospects and their outstanding dues apart, the petitions lambasted the resolution process.

The staff__ who received their last salary in March 2019, that is__were made to wait in hope for over two years to finally learn on June 30 that only 50 out of the 4000-odd employees will be absorbed in Jet 2.0. Throughout the resolution process, Jet’s then resolution professional (RP) addressed the employees as a valuable asset of Jet, the petition said.

A January 8 NCLT order too deemed them assets “who are extremely conversant with the procedure of running the airline… and so should be protected by properly taking care of their needs”. However in the end “the RP treated them as workforce with outdated knowledge, burdensome and therefore required to be thrown out of the services’’, the union petition said.

Sudip Mahapatra, partner S&R Associates, a law firm said: “Jet Airways resolution process began over two years ago in mid-2019.

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