Etihad, Jet Airways in talks on rescue deal — sources

A Jet Airways plane is parked as another moves to the runway at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai, India, February 14, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 05 December 2018
0

Etihad, Jet Airways in talks on rescue deal — sources

  • India is one of the world’s fastest-growing domestic aviation markets but high fuel prices, a weak rupee and intense price wars in the country

NEW DELHI: Etihad Airways is holding talks with Jet Airways Ltd. and its bankers on a rescue plan for the debt-laden Indian carrier, two sources aware of the matter told Reuters.
Executives from Etihad and Jet have met some of the airline’s bankers in Mumbai in recent days to discuss ways to address its cash flow issues and evaluate the carrier’s future business plan, the sources said.
Etihad, which owns 24 percent stake in Jet Airways, is also considering investing fresh funds in the airline if it can agree on the structure, one of the sources said, adding that no deal has been finalized.
The sources did not want to be named as the discussions are private.
Jet, which is India’s biggest full service carrier by market share, is in desperate need of cash. The 25-year-old airline, founded by Naresh Goyal, owes money to lessors and vendors, has delayed salary payments to pilots and senior executives and is cutting flights on non-profitable routes to save money.
India is one of the world’s fastest-growing domestic aviation markets but high fuel prices, a weak rupee and intense price wars in the country, which is dominated by no-frills airlines like Interglobe Aviation Ltd’s IndiGo, has exacerbated Jet’s woes in recent months.
Etihad has already come to Jet’s rescue once when it picked up a 24 percent stake in the carrier in 2013 but the situation is different this time.
While the Abu Dhabi-based carrier is invested in Jet, it has lost money in other airline ventures such as Alitalia and Air Berlin and may be wary of loosening the purse strings again, said another source.
Also, with tighter lending norms and a liquidity crisis in India, bankers may be hesitant to lend more to the struggling airline.
On Tuesday news channel CNBC-TV18 reported citing sources that Jet is close to finalizing a deal under which Etihad will inject fresh funds in the airline.
Goyal, who is founder and majority shareholder, has assured the airline’s pilot union that the funding, which will likely result in route restructuring and more flights to Abu Dhabi, could take place as early as mid-December, the channel said.
Goyal has also assured pilots that there will be no delays in salary payments from April 1, according to the channel.
Jet and Etihad did not immediately responded to Reuters’ emails seeking comment.


Twitter co-founder Evan Williams leaving board

Updated 23 February 2019
0

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams leaving board

  • ‘It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the company’
  • ‘I’m going to ride off into the sunset (or...down Market Street), so I can focus on some other things’

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter co-founder and one-time chief executive Evan Williams is stepping down from the board, leaving the one-to-many messaging service to focus on “other projects.”
Williams will depart the Twitter board at the end of this month, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
“It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the company,” Williams said in the filing.
“I will continue rooting for the team as I focus my time on other projects.”
Williams throttled back his role in the San Francisco-based startup eight years ago, turning his attention to new endeavors including creating popular online publishing platform Medium.
Williams ceded his role as Twitter chief executive to Dick Costolo in 2010. Co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as Twitter chief in 2015, having held the position when the startup was nascent.
Dorsey said in a Tweet that Williams was the reason he joined startup Odeo, an endeavor that led to him, Williams and Biz Stone creating Twitter.
“I appreciate you, Ev!” Dorsey tweeted on Friday.
“We’re going to miss your voice in our board conversations.”
Twitter has become a high-profile, and sometimes controversial, global stage for communication since it was launched in March of 2006.
“Thank you, @jack and @biz for starting this crazy company with me-and continuing to make it better and better,” Williams tweeted.
“I’m going to ride off into the sunset (or...down Market Street), so I can focus on some other things.”