Jet Airways Chairman Goyal steps down, halves stake

Naresh Goyal wife Anita Goyal step down from Jet Airways board

While Jet stocks zoomed after Goyal's exit, banks now have a huge challenge to infuse funds to the ailing airline and also to find a new buyer for it within the next few months. The company urgently needs funding to maintain whatever is left of its market share, even as the full-service carrier's pilots and crew are said to be approaching other airlines for employment.

Jet Airways has more than Rs 8,000 crore in debt and is looking for urgent liquidity infusion to pay its pilots, engineers and make payments to its lessors.

Aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that Jet Airways has only 41 aircraft in its fleet for operations, out of around 120 planes and that there may be further reduction in the fleet size and the number of flights.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is a strategic partner with 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways.

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On February 14, Jet Airways' board had approved a Bank-Led Provisional Resolution Plan (BLPRP), whereby lenders would become the largest shareholders in the airline. Investment banking firm Arpwood Capital is helping the lenders'.

It is likely that the lenders will take over more than 50 per cent of the airline's stake.

Earlier, Jet Airways reported a net loss of Rs 587.77 crore for the third quarter of the current financial year versus a net profit of Rs 165.25 crore a year earlier. The carrier defaulted on loan repayments to banks on December 31. It is learnt that a change in the Jet management, including a new board chairman, could be executed immediately after the board approvals.

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