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'Sad day' for Indian aviation: SpiceJet chief after Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal resigns

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 25 March 2019, 06:11 PM
SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh.
SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh.

Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, on Monday described the resignations Jet Airways founder and chairperson Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita as a “sad day” for the Indian aviation. “Today is indeed a sad day for Indian aviation. By launching a truly world class airline, Naresh and Anita Goyal made India proud. This is also a wake-up call for Indian policymakers. We urgently need to address structural challenges that make India’s airlines uncompetitive to airlines around the world,” said Ajay Singh.

Naresh and Anita resigned from the board of the crisis-hit airline. The decision was taken at the airline's board meeting in Mumbai. The development comes as a majority of the airline's fleet has been grounded amid non-payment of dues to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors.

Jet Airways said Naresh Goyal, Anita Goyal and one nominee of Etihad Airways PJSC would step down from the board. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is a strategic partner with 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways. Naresh Goyal would also cease to be the chairman, the filing said.

Following Goyal's exit, the lenders will nominate two members to the Jet Airways' board. Meanwhile, an interim management committee will be constituted to manage the airline's daily operations.

According to reports, lenders had been pushing for Naresh Goyal's exit to infuse Rs 1,500 crore funds. Lenders wanted Naresh Goyal to give up his controlling stake and exit the board for fresh funding. 

The airline's notification to the exchanges said that the airline will get "immediate funding support of up to Rs 1,500 crore by lenders by way of issue of appropriate debt instrument against the security of its assets."

The news of Goyal's exit led to a rally in Jet Airways' shares. The Jet Airways stock closed 13 per cent higher, outperforming the broader market which settled around 0.9 per cent lower amid global growth concerns.

First Published: Monday, March 25, 2019 05:09 PM
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