The shares of Jet Airways surged 15.67% to close at Rs 293.40 per share on the National Stock Exchange Nifty on Monday after a news report claimed that United Arab Emirates-based airline Etihad Airways is set to increase its stake in the Indian carrier to 49%.
Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal is likely to step down as chairperson of its board of directors this week, and reduce his stake in the struggling airline to 20-25%, CNBC-TV18 reported, quoting unidentified people with knowledge of the development. At present, Goyal holds 51% stake in the airline while Etihad Airways has 24%. Foreign airlines are allowed to hold up to 49% stake in Indian carriers.
The business news channel said Naresh Goyal’s son Nivaan Goyal might replace him on the board of directors of Jet Airways.
The State Bank of India is reportedly leading a debt restructuring plan for Jet Airways, and a meeting of the airline’s lenders, including the bank, was held at the SBI headquarters in Mumbai on January 9. In this meeting, Goyal was reportedly asked to step down as the airline company’s chairperson and give up his majority control.
In August, Jet Airways reported a loss of Rs 1,326 crore in the first quarter of 2018-’19. On December 2, the airline cancelled 14 flights after some pilots reported sick over the non-payment of dues. A day later, the airline announced that from January it would stop providing complimentary meals to most economy-class passengers in domestic flights.
In August, the carrier asked its employees to take a pay cut of up to 25% but the National Aviator’s Guild urged them not to accept the decision.