NSE seeks clarification from Jet Airways on Brit entrepreneur’s interest

The National Stock Exchange on Wednesday sought a clarification from Jet Airways regarding reports that a British entrepreneur has expressed interest in acquiring it.

The NSE has asked Jet Airways whether such negotiations were taking place and whether it was aware of any information that has not been informed to both NSE and BSE.

This comes after Jason Unsworth, who describes himself as the founder and CEO of start-up Atmosphere Intercontinental Airline, stated his interest to buy Jet Airways on his Twitter page.

“By taking control of Jet Airways, I can try to offer lenders stability, and keep track of costs”, Unsworth said on Twitter.

“Other airlines have poached talent from Jet, and it is important to start operations as soon as possible before the value erodes,” Unsworth said in an interview to Moneycontrol.com.

As per Unsworth’s LinkedIn account, he has previously worked as a customer service assistant at Asda Walmart in Essex in UK, then as cabin crew at Ryanair Airline, as a passenger service agent at Servisair and Swissport, a team member at a small Asian restaurant at London Stansted Airport, cabin crew at Oyster Training Group, a retail operative at Primark Stores in London, and as a passenger service agent at Jet2.com where he assisted guests with check-ins and baggage drops until 2018.

As per Atmosphere Intercontinental Airline’s official website, the airline will likely commence its operations later this year.

The website states that the airlines is currently inviting applications for its board, and senior positions at its India, UK, Dubai and Thailand operations.

The airline has also plans to start flights to Bangkok, Dubai and India, according to the website.

It also said that it is looking for investors to fund its projects.

Meanwhile, a media report in India stated that Atmosphere Intercontinental Airline’s Indian arm has received ‘hundreds of applications from Jet Airways employees looking for jobs’.

“We have several investors who are interested in Atmosphere, and they have also shown interest in Jet Airways,” Unsworth has been quoted as saying in an interview.

He added that he hoped that the banks, led by State Bank of India (SBI), would positively respond to his interest in Jet.

He said that he aims to expand Jet’s overseas operations. “I would like to resume Jet Airways wide body, long haul flights. We would look at resuming operations at London’s Heathrow Airport, revive the Manchester connection and also look at new routes,” he said in the interview.

Jet Airways had availed various credit facilities aggregating over Rs 8,000 from a consortium of domestic lenders led by SBI. The company subsequently came under major financial stress resulting in shutting down of its operations on April 17.

State Bank of India on April 8 invited bids from strategic as well as financial bidders for stake in Jet Airways. SBI, the lead lender of a consortium of domestic lenders that extended loans to the then-ailing Jet Airways, in a statement had said that it is looking for a ‘change in control and management’ of the carrier.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube, during an interview, said that the airline is constantly engaging with the government and lenders for a resolution of the current debt crisis and will not leave any stone unturned to revive the airline

The company has requested banks for 10 billion rupees, Dube said.

More than 16,500 staff were left jobless after the airways, once India’s largest private sector airline, halted its operations last week, after the lenders rejected its request of Rs 400 crore emergency funding.