World’s Best-Performing Airline Stock Is India’s Bankrupt Jet Airways


All airlines are feeling the coronavirus pinch but one that hasn’t flown since April 2019 after collapsing under a pile of debt is the world’s best performing — at least from a share price point of view.

Stock in Mumbai-listed Jet Airways India Ltd. has surged almost 150% this year versus a 42% plunge in the 27-member Bloomberg World Airlines Index, which comprises the globe’s biggest carriers.

Its runaway gains have market watchers scratching their heads, especially since Jet Airways is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, has almost 17,000 creditors seeking claims of around $3.4 billion and has had most of its landing slots confiscated. It doesn’t have any employees to speak of, either.

A panel of creditors did approve a resolution plan last month, bringing the recovery of any dues one step closer, but that doesn’t guarantee a resumption of flights.

Retail investors are the last ones to get anything out of a bankruptcy, yet some are buying in the hope Jet Airways will successfully emerge from a restructuring, said Ajay Srivastava, managing director of advisory firm Dimensions Corporate Finance Services. The airline isn’t being thought of as a going concern, but a shell containing assets that may be sold, he said.

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