State Bank of India has received two unsolicited bids for ailing Jet Airways, nearly a month after the airline was forced to ground all operations due to funding troubles. Jet, once India's largest private airline, stopped all flights on April 17 after its lenders, led by SBI, declined to extend more funds to keep the carrier going.
"(We have) made disproportionate efforts to keep Jet flying," the bank's chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters in Mumbai.
SBI had said last month that it expected bidders to submit binding bids by April 30. "The banks have been advised to wait for the formation of the next government ... before taking any decision on Jet's fate," an official told Reuters.
Unions have been pleading with the government to ensure the airline is rescued. Jet had a fleet of more than 120 aircraft but more than half have been deregistered and repossessed by lessors.
Aviation authorities have also been temporarily farming out Jet's slots to rival carriers as airfares have soared in the wake of Jet's shutdown. Rival low-cost carriers have also been scooping up aircraft that were formerly operated by Jet from its lessors, and poaching hundreds of its pilots, cabin crew and other staffers.