Saturday, August 4, 2012

NEWS | Jet Airways to retire Rs 2,500 cr debt, to raise Rs 1,000 cr this fiscal

"We are planning to retire around $ 400 mn of our $ 2.5-bn debt this fiscal. Along with, we also need around $ 180 mn to improve our balance sheet, Naresh Goyal said.After reporting a surprise profit of Rs 36.4 crore in quarter to June, the country's largest airline Jet Airways Group today said it will retire around Rs 2,500 crore of its nearly Rs 14,000 crore debt this fiscal, but will have to raise at least Rs 1,100 crore to improve the balance sheet. 

"We are planning to retire around $400 million of our $2.5-billion debt this fiscal. Along with, we also need around $180 million to improve our balance sheet. We will achieve this through sale, and sale and lease back of some planes," Jet Group chairman and founderNaresh Goyal told the airline's AGM here. 

However, Goyal did not specify how he will bring in this Rs 1,100 crore. He was also silent on the much-delayed preferential issue through a QIP, but just said, "We are yet to decide the instrument." 

As much as 80 perc ent of this debt, Goyal said, is asset-backed and dollar-denominated. About 14 per cent of this debt is short-term working capital funds, which the airline plans to repay from operational revenue through the year. 

Towards bringing down the debt burden, the largest airline with 27.9 per cent market share as of end June, has already sold four of its old 737-700s and two engines in the June quarter, Goyal said. 

The airline is also planning to sell and lease back 8-9 of its narrow-body aircraft in the coming quarters. Another measure to shore up topline is to double the income from its ancillary or non-ticket revenues over the next two quarters, said chief executive Nikos Kardassis. But he did not say how much is such income now. 

Goyal said the airline, which has already discontinued from some important destinations like JFK airport in New York, and South Africa, apart from some Gulf sectors since the beginning of this fiscal, will not add any new destinations this fiscal. 



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