State Bank of India (SBI) said on Friday that it has received two unsolicited bids for ailing Jet Airways, nearly a month after the debt-laden airline was forced to ground all operations due to funding troubles.
Jet, once India's largest private airline, stopped all flights on April 17 after its lenders, led by SBI, declined to extend more funds to keep the carrier going.
"(We have) made disproportionate efforts to keep Jet flying," the bank's chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters.
The SBI announcement comes even as Jet's offices are being vacated at many airports across the country and employee access is being revoked.
SBI has invited binding bids for a stake in the airline that is saddled with roughly $1.2 billion in bank debt and that has been struggling with mounting losses as it tried to compete with low-cost rivals.
All bids were to be submitted by 1800 IST (1230 GMT) on Friday.
"This world lives on hope so there is hope till 6pm," said Kumar. He declined to give any detail on the bidders, how serious the parties were and what terms were being offered by the interested parties.
If a deal fails to materialise the airline could be dragged into bankruptcy by creditors, putting at stake the livelihoods of its 22,000 employees.