JetAirways declared bankrupt in Europe; airlines race for the scraps


Indian airline JetAirways has been officially declared bankrupt by a Dutch court, making the ruling applicable across Europe.

One of JetAirways 777’s has been on the tarmac at Schipol for nearly two months with unpaid bills, and the handling company and one other unnamed European company requested the declaration to get their money back.

India doesn’t have bankruptcy laws so its unlikely to be recognised there, but the rest of the world will take their lead from the European ruling.

Virgin Atlantic in the UK has already said it will now resume Mumbai flights when the winter schedule starts at the end of October, to fill the space in the market from Heathrow, BA has already increased frequencies and other airlines around the world are doing the same.

It isn’t just about passengers either. JetAirways carried a staggering 227m tonnes of cargo in 2017 internationally and domestically. Cargo volumes have grown by 46% since then on European and US routes between Delhi and Mumbai.

Rumour has it that the Hinduja Group may well put in a bid for the wreckage of JetAirways, but it’s expected to only take on domestic routes and business with less than half of the aircraft the airline had. Similar suggestions were made about Kingfisher back in 2013 but they never materialised.

The problem lies in India’s lack of a legal framework to manage collapsed business operators, so many claims and counterclaims are made it becomes impossible to resolve them to let bids proceed. If it happens, all to the good, but don’t hold your breath.