Lessons from Jet

No promoter can be treated bigger than the company

As the last flight of what once was India’s second-largest private airline landed in Mumbai at 12.30 am on Wednesday last week, the pilot’s message said: “We hope to fly again soon. When we do, do book with us.” It was a poignant moment for 25-year-old Jet Airways, but the indefinite suspension of operations was hardly surprising for an airline that had only five functional planes after starting the year with 119. With Rs 8,400 crore of debt, and the failure to receive a stopgap loan from its lenders as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March, Jet’s wings ...