Saturday, June 17, 2006

Jet-Sahara deal hits another airpocket

Bangalore: The Jet Airways-Air Sahara deal seems to be headed for another patch of turbulence with the government delaying the security clearance of Jet's chairman Naresh Goyal as the head of the merged entity, even as it has cleared the names of other directors - Jet executive director Saroj Dutta, former advisor to finance minister Vijay Kelkar, lyricist Javed Akhtar and Victoriano P Dunca.
With only a week left before the escrow account that has been set up to facilitate the deal expires (June 23), the two airlines may have to hold last-minute parleys once again to tide over the crisis if the Goyal's approval does not come by then.
The government is reportedly hesitating in clearing Goyal's name on the board because of queries by the US Department of Transportation (DoT) on Goyal's alleged links with underworld.
Last year, Jet's plans to start operations out of the US hit an air pocket after an US namesake (Jet Airways Inc) filed objections with US DoT alleging it had AL Qaeda and Dawood links.
17/06/06 Praveena Sharma/Daily News & Analysis