Goyal said in a statement that he has agreed to sacrifice every control and interest in Jet to ensure the Jet family's lasting welfare.

Agreed to lenders every condition to ensure much-needed funding for Jet Naresh Goyal
Money Aviation Thursday, April 04, 2019 - 10:29

Jet Airway's former Chairman Naresh Goyal on Wednesday said that he has co-operated fully and facilitated the bank-led resolution programme for the company.

Goyal's statement on Wednesday evening comes even as the airline informed employees that salaries for March will be delayed.

The airline, hard-pressed for funds, is yet to receive the first tranche of the Rs 1,500 crore promised by banks as part of the debt resolution plan, its fleet size has depleted to 28, employees and lessors remain adamant on clearance of dues, and legal eagles feel the fate of resolution plan hangs in balance.

In a statement, Goyal said: "I have agreed to sacrifice my every control and interest in the airline with the sole aim to ensure the Jet family's lasting welfare.

"To this end I have conscientiously taken some hard, personal decisions. In extending my fullest respectful cooperation to the consortium of Indian lenders, I have agreed to each and every term and condition laid down by them in a timely manner."

As per the statement, Goyal said: "I have given all facilitation for implementation of the 'Resolution Plan' and signed on the dotted line as required to ensure release of the much-needed funds committed by the Lenders, in order to secure a sustainable future for Jet Airways."

On March 25, Goyal had stepped down from the board of the airline and ceded majority control to the State Bank of India-led consortium.

Under the debt resolution plan, the lenders would inject up to Rs 1,500 crore working capital into the airline and convert their debt into equity, to revive the airline and sell it by June.

The airline owes over Rs 8,000 crore to lenders, led by the State Bank of India (SBI).

The SBI also expects the airline to find a new financial investor within the first quarter (April-June) of FY20.

The day's developments also assume significance as the consortium of banks will meet on Thursday to chalk-out future course of action for the airline.

Industry sources said the first tranche of fund could be expected in a day or two, while the situation has become precariously complicated following the Supreme Court's decision on Wednesday to annul a February 12, 2018 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular on bad debts.

Without fresh funds, speculations continued on Wednesday on the number of aircraft that the airline operated, after reports in a section of media that it was operating 15 or less aircraft, which would make it ineligible to operate international flights.

The speculations also stemmed from the airline's disclosure on Tuesday to the bourses that it had grounded 15 more aircraft due to non-payment to lessors. The disclosure also pulled the company's stocks down over 5 per cent to Rs 251.10 per share.

However, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) clarified that the carrier was operating a 28-aircraft fleet.

"Jet Airways continues to fly 28 aircraft as on date. The 15 aircraft reported have already been accounted for and this was only informed to the stock exchange by Jet Airways yesterday (Tuesday)," the DGCA said.

Last month, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said nearly 80 per cent (75 aircraft) of Jet's fleet was likely to be back in operation by the end of April as it would re-induct 40 aircraft by then.

In another development, the airline informed employees that salaries for March will be delayed.

"In the light of the current situation, please note that salaries for March 2019 will be deferred. We will provide you an update on the status of the payout by Tuesday, 9 April 2019," said Rahul Taneja, Chief People Officer, Jet Airways, in a communication to employees.

Salaries are pending since January.

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