File photo: Naresh Goyal with Andrés Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two airlines in 2017
Jet Airways’ Founder and Promoter Naresh Goyal has stepped down from the board of the debt-laden airline. During a board meeting on March 25th, Goyal, his wife and Kevin Knight, nominee director of Etihad Airways resigned from their positions in the company.
However, two nominees of the promoter and one nominee of Etihad Airways will continue to be on the board. Two lender nominees will be inducted to the board, following receival of required approvals.
Announcing his exit, Naresh Goyal said in a statement, “For me, the 22,000 employees are my own family, as dear to me as Nivaan, Namrata and my wife Neeta, and 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.
“I became the Chairman on 1st April, 1992 and 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. Thank you for your brilliant dedication and loyalty down the years. I am proud of you and wish you all a great future ahead with our Jet Airways!”
The Jet Airways’ Board of Directors has also approved the conversion of INR 1 of lenders’ debt into equity by the issuance of 11.4 crore equity shares. Following this, the team of lenders, led by State Bank of India, will become the majority shareholders of the airline. As a part of the resolution plan, the lenders will provide an interim funding of INR 1500 crore to Jet Airways. Meanwhile, lenders will also begin the sale/ issue of shares to new investors.
Efforts will also be made to engage with payment intermediaries for release of trapped cash; and the funding will be partially used to clear pending dues towards lessors, vendors, creditors and employees. This move is aimed at re-deploying the several grounded Jet aircraft, and streamline operations on the suspended routes.
An Interim Management Committee (IMC) has also been set up, under the overall supervision of the board of directors and McKinsey & Co, to oversee the financial and operational performance of Jet Airways.