Former chairman of cash-strapped Jet Airways Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal were denied permission to fly abroad from the Mumbai airport today, news agency PTI reported. Goyal and his wife were travelling on a Dubai-bound Emirates flight (EK 507) when the immigration authorities stopped them and denied permission to fly.
The agency also quoted Jet Airways sources saying that the couple was travelling with four big-sized suitcases. "The checked-in baggage (suitcases) was in the name of Anita Goyal," the source added. After the immigration authorities' decision, their baggage was also offloaded. Their flight was scheduled to depart at 3.35 pm but the couple was not granted permission.
Naresh Goyal (file pic) and his wife Anita Goyal, travelling from Mumbai to outside India, on an Emirates flight, were restricted from leaving the country by immigration. More details awaited. pic.twitter.com/Um72nWXWkh- ANI (@ANI) May 25, 2019
Though there's no clarity as to why the Goyals were stopped from flying, Naresh Goyal was apparently travelling for a meeting with executives of Gulf carrier Etihad and the Hinduja Group on the airline's revival plan. The airline company, which shut down its operations last month after it failed to get an immediate fund infusion of around Rs 1,500 crore, has not paid salaries to its employees for the past several months. The latest action against the Goyals comes after Jet Airways officers and staff association president Kiran Pawaskar last month approached the Mumbai Police to stop them and other top officials of the company from leaving India.
"Emirates is co-operating fully with relevant authorities & we abide by the laws of various countries we operate in," an Emirates spokesperson later said in a statement.
Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal had resigned from the Jet Airways board on March 25, transferring the control to the lenders led by the State Bank of India. Top five executives of the airline, including CEO Vinay Dube, already resigned from the airline citing "personal reasons".The company ceased operations temporarily around mid-April due to an acute liquidity crisis.
Jet Airways has an overall debt of over Rs 8,500 crore. Even after four months of constant talks over finding a bidder for the debt-ridden airline, no consensus has been built so far. As per recent reports, Hindujas Group and Gulf carrier Etihad Airways have also failed to reach a deal on the crisis-hit airline. Earlier speculations were rife that Hinduja Group might bid for the grounded airline after getting the approval of its key stakeholders, including founder Naresh Goyal and Etihad.
Edited by Manoj Sharma