Jet Airways' Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife will step down from the airline's board, major television news channels reported on Monday. Goyal's stake will be cut to 25.5 per cent from the current 51 per cent, while Etihad Airways' stake in the debt-laden carrier will also be halved to 12 per cent to make room for the banks to take a controlling stake of 50.5 per cent in the airline, TV channels reported, citing unnamed sources.
The cash-strapped Indian carrier is aiming for a rescue deal led by state-run banks after the Indian government asked state-run banks, led by SBI, to rescue Jet without pushing it into bankruptcy, two people within the Indian government have said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to avert thousands of job losses weeks before a general election.
Jet Airways has grounded as many as 54 aircraft as it battles financial woes and heavy debts. The airline has also reduced frequencies on seven other overseas routes. Saddled with the debt of more than $1 billion, Jet owes money to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors - several of whom have started terminating leases with the carrier.
The reports of Goyal's departure led to a rally in Jet's shares of more than 12 per cent.
(With inputs from agencies.)