Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal expressed his distress over the mounting troubles at the company, after the debt-laden airline's creditors decided to move the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to seek resolution of their debt under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). In a statement on Tuesday, Goyal hoped for the revival of the airline for the sake of its employees and travellers.
"I feel sad and deeply distressed mainly for our loyal employees who have waited months and were anxiously and hopefully awaiting a positive outcome to the Bank-Led Resolution Plan. I can only hope and pray that even now a solution can emerge and Jet can fly and fulfil the needs not only of employees but of air travellers who feel the absence of the Joy of Flying," Goyal said.
Meanwhile, two independent directors of Jet Airways have stepped down from the company's board on Tuesday. The independent directors Ashok Chawla and Sharad Sharma cited the failure of bank-led resolution plan for Jet Airways as one of the reasons for stepping down.
"We wish to inform you that Ashok Chawla and Sharad Sharma resigned as Independent Directors of the Company with effect from June 17, 2019 in view of the Board continuing to be in non-compliance with the provisions of the Company Act, no additional directors being appointed and the process of bank-led resolution plan not moving forward," Jet Airways said in a filing to the stock exchanges.
The Jet Airways board has been under the control of State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders that extended credit to the airline since March after the exit of founder Naresh Goyal. The airline grounded operations next month in April after lenders refused to infuse funds required to continue operations.
The creditors have been looking for a non-bankruptcy resolution ever since. They even leased out Jet's grounded aircraft on wet lease to the competition to realise a portion of their debt. They had invited bids for selling stake in the embattled carrier. Etihad Airways, a minority stakeholder in Jet, had evinced interest to help the airline's revival, but refused to become a majority stakeholder in the company. The UAE-based airline was in talks with the Hinduja Group to fund the resuscitation of Jet Airways.
Things took a turn for the worse as Hinduja Group stepped back on its offer in the face of two operational creditors taking the Indian airline to NCLT over pending dues and ongoing government investigations. As the non-IBC resolution fell flat, the creditors finally decided to move the NCLT to recover their dues.