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British entrepreneur with no operations claims to have bid for Jet

FE Bureau
jet airways, State Bank of India, SBI Caps, Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines, Rajnish Kumar, Boeing 777-300ER

Even as the government is doing its bit to allay apprehensions of the four bidders short-listed by the lenders to take over the grounded Jet Airways, a fifth self-proclaimed bidder, with no airline operations so far, suddenly emerged on Wednesday with no clarity about its eligibility.

An unknown British entrepreneur took to Twitter proclaiming his interest in taking control of Jet Airways and claiming to have submitted a revival proposal to State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday. On its part, Jet Airways said that it has advised Unsworth to formally engage with SBI Caps, which is running the bidding process, according to a filing.

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Jet Airways had received an unsolicited e-mail communication from the British entrepreneur, it said in a filing to the BSE. … the sender has been advised to formally engage with SBI Caps, which is leading the bidding process under the resolution plan initiated by a consortium of domestic lenders led by State Bank of India, it noted. Jason Unsworth, founder and CEO of his family-owned start-up, Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines (AIA), tweeted that a letter of intent has been sent by him to SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar.

Unsworth, whose only background in aviation so far is that he has worked as ground staff for airlines and airports in the past, claims to have the backing of investors who are willing to pump money into Jet which temporarily ceased all operations on April 17. I agree, I am happy to take control of majority share of @jetairways to secure lending, and oversee its complete turnaround back into a strong stable airline…, Unsworth tweeted.

He also sought funding support from State Bank of India, which is leading the Jet s lenders consortium. There are apparent question marks over the offer as AIA, which was incorporated in 2015, is yet to launch operations anywhere till now. It just has plans to launch long-haul operations between the UK and Thailand this year.

According to the details available on the company s site, it has corporate offices in London, Bangkok and Mumbai. The airline says it is currently working to arrange leases on two Boeing 777-300ER and as many Boeing 737-800 NG, according to the details available online.

Unsworth said he would rebrand the airline and focus on resuming international operations first. Should our bid for @jetairways become successful we will keep the airline as a premium full service carrier, restarting international flights first and look at introducing some similar ancillary changes same as low cost airlines.., he added.