No sacrifice too big for me to safeguard Jet Airways’ interest: Outgoing chief Naresh Goyal

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 25 March 2019, 11:38 PM
No sacrifice too big for me to safeguard Jet Airways’ interest: Outgoing chief Naresh Goyal
No sacrifice too big for me to safeguard Jet Airways’ interest: Outgoing chief Naresh Goyal

Naresh Goyal, who has resigned as chairman of Jet Airways under a debt resolution plan, on Monday said no sacrifice is too big for him to safeguard the interest of the airline and the families of its 22,000 employees. Goyal is also the founder of the full-service airline, which has been operating for more than 25 years.

"... no sacrifice is too big for me to safeguard the interest of Jet Airways and the families of the 22,000 employees. For the sake of my family of 22,000 employees and their respective families, I have today taken the step of stepping down from the board of Jet Airways," he said in a statement issued by the airline.

He became chairman of the company in April 1992.

"... my family is behind me and with me in this decision and I hope you will support my decision too. I will miss you one and all," Goyal said. 

Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal on Monday 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. 

Saddened with Goyal's exit, Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet termed the development "a sad day for 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," he said in a statement. 

Expressing happiness over the lenders' decision, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India needs more aircraft and airlines, "otherwise airfares would rise".

"Banks have keptself-interestt in mind by trying to keep it as a going entity so that they can recover their dues," he said in the national capital hours after the airline's board cleared the debt resolution plan.


First Published: Monday, March 25, 2019 08:15 PM
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