Chairman Naresh Goyal Steps Down From Jet Airways Board

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New Delhi: Jet Airways Ltd Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal quit the board of the cash-strapped airline on Monday, the airline informed the stock exchange on Monday.

Saddled with more than $1 billion of debt, Jet is struggling to stay afloat. It has delayed payments to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors – some of which have forced the airline to ground as many as 40 planes.

Jet has survived a near-death experience once before; in 2013, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways injected $600 million of capital for a 24 percent stake in the airline, three London Heathrow slots and a majority share in Jet’s frequent flyer programme.

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The infusion helped Jet pare down debt and fight growing domestic competition. The government has asked state-run banks, led by SBI, to rescue Jet without pushing it into bankruptcy, seeking to avert thousands of job losses weeks before a general election. The reports of Goyal’s departure led to a rally in Jet’s shares of more than 12 percent.