India’s Jet Airways shares plunge amid stake sale talks
The country's second-largest airline is battling rising fuel costs, a weak rupee and stiff competition; it is also planning to cut salaries
Shares of airline major Jet Airways (India) Ltd fell by around 6% on Friday morning on India’s National Stock Exchange amid reports of financial turbulence and austerity measures, as it faces several challenges.
In the latest development, the second-largest carrier in India by market share has approached investment bankers to help sell a stake in the carrier, Mint newspaper reports.
The fundraising is crucial for the airline, which is 24% owned by Etihad Airways PJSC of Abu Dhabi, to deal with a surge in fuel prices, a weaker rupee and intensifying competition. Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, who owns a 51% stake, may offload a part of the promoter’s stake in the company, the daily said.
Jet Airways reported a loss of 6.36 billion rupees (US$92.4 million) in the financial year ended March 31, while smaller rival SpiceJet reported a profit of 5.66 billion rupees and market leader IndiGo reported a profit of 22.42 billion rupees.
Earlier in the week the airline told its employees to brace for a salary cut, ranging from 5% to 25%. The pilots union has decided to oppose the move, and it could even trigger mass resignations.