Business

Jet Airways founder, wife stopped from leaving India at airport

NEW DELHI: Indian carrier Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita were stopped from leaving India on Saturday at Mumbai Airport, according to an airport official who asked not to be named.

The couple were taken into custody by immigration officers, the Indian Express reported, citing sources. The official did not confirm that the couple had been detained.

It was not immediately clear why the couple had been prevented from travelling, or whether it was related to reported regulatory probes into the airline.

Local media said the Goyals had been travelling to Dubai for a connecting flight to London. Citing sources, they reported earlier this month that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs had been looking into Jet's books and had asked for a corporate fraud investigation into the airline, suspecting that its promoters siphoned off funds.

Jet said at the time that it had complied with all regulations. Once one of India's largest carriers, Jet was forced to ground all flights last month after running out of money and failing to secure funds, crippled by mounting losses as it attempted to compete with low-cost rivals.

Jet's closure has left 22,000 staff jobless, with many of them not paid their salary for March. Pilots, engineers and senior management have not been paid since December last year, reported The Times of India.

The carrier is saddled with US$1.2 billion (S$1.65 billion) in bank debt, and Mr Goyal and his wife stepped down from the airline's board in March amid the crisis. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE