March 18, 2019 / 1:50 PM / a month ago

Jet Airways chairman tells pilots he needs more time to finalise rescue deal

NEW DELHI, March 18 (Reuters) - Jet Airways’ Chairman Naresh Goyal told the airline’s pilots on Monday he would need “a further short time” to finalise a rescue deal for the cash-strapped Indian carrier as the process is complex.

In a letter, Goyal said he is “committed to have the process completed as soon as possible and restore much needed stability” to the airline’s operations, and that he would make it a top priority to settle delayed salary payments for pilots and some other staff once a deal is finalised.

He also said that talks for the rescue deal with the airline’s biggest shareholder, Etihad Airways, and lenders, led by State Bank of India (SBI), are ongoing.

Saddled with debt of more than one billion dollars, Jet is struggling to stay afloat. It has delayed payments to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors - some of whom have forced the airline to ground as many as 40 planes. (Reporting by Aditi Shah Edited by Martin Howell)

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