Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, wife Anita step down from board

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal steps down amid crisis

Crunched under debt, Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal, wife Anita Goyal have resigned from the board of directors of the airline.

Goyal's 51 percent stake has been halved to make room for the banks, according to reports by Indian TV. His government urged state-run banks to rescue the airline without pushing it into bankruptcy, sources have told Reuters.

In recent weeks, it had grounded more than two-thirds of the 119 aircraft in its fleet.

The decision paves the way for lenders, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), to invoke some of Goyal's shareholding and rescue the airline on an immediate basis.

A bidding process will be initiated for new investors, which is expected to be completed in the June quarter.

"I believe that the employees, including the pilots, engineers, cabin crew and front-end staff are taken into confidence by the new management so that they assist in the turnaround plan", he said, adding personally he feels very sorry for the man who was intrinsically entrenched in every part of the product and services of the airline. My expectation is 31 is open for everyone whosoever wants to come in.

The next steps, which include the amount of equity capital being infused and the selection of the new board, are more critical, said CAPA India CEO Kapil Kaul.

The reports of Goyal's departure led to a rally in Jet's shares of more than 15 percent.

A pilots' organisation had also warned that its members would stop flying for the carrier if their salaries were not paid by the end of March. Singh, the chairman and MD of budget carrier SpiceJet, said: "By launching a truly world class airline, Naresh and Anita Goyal made India proud".

Jet has survived collapse once before when it got close to running out of cash in 2013.

A man speaks on the phone outside the Jet Airways headquarters in Mumbai, India, March 25, 2019.

Abu Dhabi's Eithad Airways, which owns a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways, is however reticent to provide interim funding of about 7 billion rupees (USD 99 million) to Jet Airways, the source said.

SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh, however, said it was a "sad day" for Indian aviation.

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