Jet Airways leader gives in to pressure to quit

In a major, although not unexpected development, Jet Airways founder and chairman, Naresh Goyal, and his wife, Anita, have resigned from the board.

The pioneer aviation leader, who founded the full-service airline 25 years ago, has been under pressure to quit. Etihad has a 24 percent stake in the airline, and its one director is also quitting, this writer learned.

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The airline has to ground scores of its planes for non-payment of lease money. Goyal has written a letter to 22,000 Jet staff members saying that this is a new chapter, and not the end of the road.

The future course of Jet Airways will be decided by the lenders, led by State Bank of India, and an amount of Rs 1500 crores may be invested now to solve issues for the moment. The government is also expected to play an important role, as it is keen to see that the line is revived and not grounded at a time when aviation in India is growing.

Ajay Singh, SpiceJet chief, has called for policy changes to see that the aviation sector in the country grows.

It is important to keep the large network of routes of Jet Airways in order, so that in the future, the flight routes can be served again.

The next few weeks and months will be watched with keen interest in India and abroad, as things shape up, depending on several factors.

The country is also going to soon hold elections, and the outcome may also have an impact on the aviation scene.