Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Apr 18 (ANI): Jet Airways shares plunged over 27 per cent on Thursday over doubts whether the grounded Indian airline will fly again.
At 12:30 pm, Jet shares were trading 27.06 per cent down at Rs 176.40 each. Reports said the company's worth is now estimated at about 260 million dollars (about Rs 1,808 crore).
The cash-strapped airline stopped all flight operations indefinitely on Wednesday evening after a consortium of lenders led by government-owned State Bank of India declined to extend more funds to keep it afloat.
"The lenders after due deliberations decided that the best way forward for the survival of Jet Airways is to get the binding bids from potential investors who have expressed expression of interest (EOI) and have been issued bid documents on April 16," the consortium said in a statement.
"Lenders are reasonably hopeful that the bid process is likely to be successful in determining fair value of the enterprise in a transparent manner," it said.
The carrier with roughly 1.2 billion dollars (about Rs 8,350 crore) of bank debt has been battling for survival amid bruising competition from low-cost carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet, which are expanding their fleet size and network operations.
The shortfall in seat capacity and booming demand has pushed up airfares by 30 to 40 per cent since September, according to rating agency ICRA.
Ironically, government-owned Air India's Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani on Wednesday also called the temporary closure of Jet Airways as a setback to Indian aviation.
"It is indeed a sad day for all those in the business of flying in the country to witness a fine airline closing shop," he said, echoing similar views of industry experts.
Air India has a debt burden of Rs 55,000 crore. The government's plan to sell stake in the carrier has failed to attract any bidders.