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Jet Airways' lenders hope bidding process can save airline

Creditors of India's beleaguered Jet Airways say they are "reasonably hopeful" that a bidding process with potential investors for a controlling stake in the airline will save the company.

The consortium of 26 lenders led by State Bank of India released the statement Thursday following cash-starved Jet Airways' decision late Wednesday to suspend flight operations.

Shares in the Mumbai-based airline, once the largest private airline in India, were down 26.9% in intraday trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

A Jet airways reception desk is seen deserted at the company's headquarters in Mumbai, India Thursday, April 18, 2019. Jet Airways, once India's largest airline, announced on Wednesday that it is suspending all operations after failing to raise enough money to run its services. (AP PhotoRafiq Maqbool)

Travel agents in New Delhi said the suspension of operations was affecting prices and availability in and outside of India.

Sadhana Tours India agents say they are struggling to find seats on direct flights for customers traveling domestically and internationally, and that prices Thursday were twice as high as a week ago.

A Jet airways ticketing counter is seen deserted at the company's headquarters in Mumbai, India Thursday, April 18, 2019. Jet Airways, once India's largest airline, announced on Wednesday that it is suspending all operations after failing to raise enough money to run its services. (AP PhotoRafiq Maqbool)