I quit for the sake of my family of 22,000 employees: Naresh Goyal

Chennai: Quitting Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal in his emotional farewell letter stated that his sacrifice was done taking into account the family of 22,000 employees.

“For the sake of my family of 22,000 employees and their respective families, I have today taken the step of stepping down from the board of Jet Airways,” said the founder of the airlines, addressing all of Jet’s workers.

Goyal, along with his wife Anita and Etihad Airways PJSC’s nominee director Kevin Knight, have stepped down from the board of the ailing airline, which will also receive an immediate funding of Rs 1,500 crore under a resolution plan piloted by its lenders.

“My family is behind me and with me in this decision and I hope you will support my decision too. I will miss you one and all,” Goyal said and added that the approval of the debt-recast plan will put the carrier on a “sounder and sustainable” financial footing.

“Our airline stands poised to turn the page, ready to fly out of the turbulence and soar into a bright new future,” Goyal, who became chairman of the airlines in 1992, said.

“We’ve not come to this decision lightly but this is not the end of the journey, rather it is the start of a brand new chapter,” Goyal said.

He also said he has seen the airline growing from a fleet of just four aircraft flying to 12 routes in the first year, to a peak fleet of 124 flying to over 550 destinations.

‘Kingfisher could have been bailed’
Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, who is being investigated for fraud and money-laundering, in a tweet today said his now-defunct Kingfisher airlines too could have been bailed out by lenders, like they did with Jet Airways on Monday.

“Happy to see that PSU Banks have bailed out Jet Airways saving jobs, connectivity and enterprise. Only wish the same was done for Kingfisher,” he tweeted.

Blamed banks for letting ‘India’s finest airline’ close its operations seven years ago, Mallya’s tweet read, “I invested over (Rs) 4,000 crore into Kingfisher Airlines to save the company and its employees. Not recognised and instead slammed in every possible way. The same PSU Banks let India’s finest airline with the best employees and connectivity fail ruthlessly.”

Mallya had recently urged Indian banks to “take his money” and save Jet Airways. “And I repeat once again that I have placed liquid assets before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court to pay off the PSU Banks and all other creditors. Why do the Banks not take my money. It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else (sic),” he tweeted.

NT Bureau