Naresh Goyal, the founder Chairman of crisis-hit Jet Airways, is likely to step down from his post today. His wife Anita Goyal will also follow the suit, an Economic Times report said on Monday. The massive ownership changes are part of the new plan that seeks to save the embattled airlines from going bankrupt. A Business Standard report has said that at today’s meet, the lenders will also give nod to the Rs 1,500 crore emergency funds. The ET report said that Narendra Goyal, who is currently in London, is likely to address the 23,000 employees of the Jet Airways via video-conferencing.
Meanwhile, a Mint report said that the Etihad Airways is set to meet on March 31st to decide the final option regarding Jet Airways. The consortium of the lenders led by the State Bank of India worked its way over the weekend to come up with the plan, which will see Goyal exit the airlines he founded in 1993. A change in the Jet management, including a new board chairman, would be executed immediately after the board approvals, the Business Standard report said.
According to ET report, Jet’s present CEO Vinay Dube will stay in the company to oversee the transition. In a week’s time, the lenders are likely to invoke 51% stake of Goyal and hunt for new buyers, the ET report said. Srinivasan Vishvanathan, ex-SBI managing director and Janki Ballabh, former SBI chairman are among frontrunners for the top job at the Jet board, the report said.
The State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders is working on a resolution plan for the cash-strapped Jet Airways for the last five months. The full service carrier has a debt burden of more than Rs 8,200 crore and needs to make repayments worth up to Rs 1,700 crore by March end. A PTI report said that lenders of Jet Airways might pick up a substantial stake in the airline, a move that would provide comfort in the interim period till new promoters come in.
Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal holds 51 per cent stake while Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has 24 per cent shareholding in the airline, which has been in operation for over 25 years.
Earlier this week, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar along with Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Misra apprised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley about the developments at Jet Airways. The airline is flying just about a third of its fleet, defaulting on interest payments and delaying salaries to pilots.