Vankayalapati Umesh, managing director of TruJet (TRJ, Hyderabad International), said in a statement issued via social media on February 16 that the regional carrier was in talks with a potential investor over USD25 million in funding and that it would restart flight operations soon, having suspended them the previous day.

The airline was responding to local media reports, for example, in the newspaper BusinessLine, claiming it had been forced to ground all of its aircraft due to a severe cash-flow crisis, that lessors had reclaimed seven of its fleet of ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprops, and that it had not paid salaries for three months.

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation had approved TruJet to operate 450 flights per week in the current winter schedules, but its operations have dwindled in recent months due to financing delays, according to the Business Standard newspaper. It had been operating with a single ATR72 when operations ceased.

Last October, it was reported that Indian infrastructure giant Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) had divested from Turbo Megha Airways Ltd, trading as TruJet, with former owner Umesh regaining full ownership of the airline.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, TruJet has one aircraft in service, ATR72-500 VT-TMP (msn 875) leased from Elix Aviation Capital. The rest of its fleet is stored, namely four other -500s (two also courtesy of Elix and two leased from Aergo Capital) and a single ATR72-600 (leased from DAE Capital).

In its statement, the airline said operations had been “temporarily hampered because of various administrative and technical reasons” and would resume “at short notice.” A source at the company told Business Standard it hoped to restart flights by the end of this week using its single active turboprop.

The statement continued that “TruJet is in the final stage of discussion with a potential investor who is funding USD25 million within the next few days. The investor would like to bring his own panel of management, and in the same process” a new chief executive will start work on March 1, until which time Umesh will be acting CEO.

It concluded that the report claiming “the employees are not being paid a single penny since November 2021 is absolutely baseless and partial salaries are disbursed for a certain level of employees and 100% for the low-income group.”