Naresh Goyal, promoter and former Chairman of Jet Airways, and his wife Anita Goyal were on Saturday prevented from travelling abroad. The couple was deplaned on instructions from the Immigration Department at the Mumbai airport on Saturday.
“Mr. Naresh Goyal and Anita Goyal travelling on EK 507 were restricted from leaving the country. The aircraft had reached taxi way when it was recalled,” an airport official said. Multiple airport and government officials confirmed the incident. Authorities are looking into whether the Goyal couple was trying to flee the country. Calls made to Jet Airways executives for confirmation yielded no response as most of them have quit or are not in the loop.They were on an Emirates flight.
The incident took place at around 4 p.m. The couple had cleared immigration and the flight was close to the runway when they were asked to return.
“Only two agencies have the power to recall an aircraft. One is customs and the other is immigration. In this case the immigration had called the aircraft back,” said an airport official.
The Immigration Department is believed to have responded to a look out circular issued at the instructions of the lenders of Jet Airways. “These days lenders are not taking chances and do not want a Vijay Mallya-like situation,” a source said.
Several large suitcases booked in the name of the couple were also depland, officials said.
Why the couple was traveling to Dubai is not known.
Commenting on the matter an Emirates Spokesperson said “Emirates is co-operating fully with the relevant authorities and we abide by the laws of the various countries we operate in.”
Jet Airways, been grounded since April 18, has a bank debt of ₹8000 crore and has been put up for sale by the lenders.
In February the lenders had forced the Goyal couple to resign as part of a bank led resolution plan. Since grounding almost the entire top management has resigned. All except two directors have stepped down.
The senior level officials have not been paid since January and other employees have remained unpaid since April.