Naresh Goyal, the founder Chairman of Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, has over 40 years of experience in the Civil Aviation industry.
After graduating in Commerce in 1967, Mr. Goyal joined the travel business with the GSA for Lebanese International Airlines. From 1967 to 1974, he underwent extensive training in all facets of the travel business through his association with several foreign airlines. He also travelled overseas extensively on business during this period.
With the experience, expertise and technical know-how thereby acquired, in May 1974, Mr. Naresh Goyal founded Jetair (Private) Limited with the objective of providing Sales and Marketing representation to foreign airlines in India. He was involved in the development of traffic patterns, route structures, operational economics and flight scheduling, all of which has made him an authority in the world of aviation and travel.
In 1991, as part of the ongoing diversification of his business activities, Mr. Goyal took advantage of the opening of the Indian economy and the enunciation of the Open Skies Policy by the Government of India to set up Jet Airways for the operation of scheduled air services on domestic sectors in India. Jet Airways commenced commercial operations on May 05, 1993.
With his vast experience in the field of aviation, Mr. Goyal has been serving on the prestigious International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors’ commencing with his first term between 2004 -2006. He has since been re-elected in 2008 with his tenure extending until 2019.
Taking advantage of the Government of India’s recent FDI policy, Naresh Goyal led Jet Airways was able to successfully conclude a strategic partner deal with Etihad Airways. Etihad has a 24% equity stake in Jet Airways. The strategic investment is expected to deliver wide-ranging revenue growth and cost synergy opportunities for both airlines in the areas of operational synergies and cost savings including fleet acquisition, maintenance, product development and training.
Mr. Goyal is the recipient of several national and international awards, which include:
- ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Services’ from Ernst & Young in September 2000
- ‘Distinguished Alumni Award-2000’ for meritorious and distinguished performance as an Entrepreneur’ in October 2000.
- ‘Outstanding Asian-Indian’ award for leadership and contribution to the global community given by the Indian American Centre for Political Awareness in November 2003
- ‘Aerospace Laurels’ for outstanding contribution in the field of Commercial Air Transport twice, in April 2000 and February 2004.
- Featured by Business Week as one of the five leaders from India in the July 2005 Asia Edition cover story- “Stars of Asia – 25 Leaders at The Forefront of Change”
- The first BML Munjal Award for Excellence in Learning & Development in the Private Sector category. Mr. Goyal received the award from the Honourable Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Praful Patel along with a citation at a special function at Hotel Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi on January 6, 2006
- Was presented with the first NDTV Profit Business Award 2006 by the honourable Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on behalf of Jet Airways, at a glittering function at Taj Palace Hotel on July 28, 2006. The award, in the aviation category, is to salute the men and women who fuel India’s journey to the forefront of the World Economy
- Accorded the prestigious TATA AIG – Lifetime Achievement Award at the Abacus-TAFI Awards ceremony organized during the TAFI (Travel Agents’ Federation of India) International Travel Convention 2007, on Saturday 8th September, 2007 at the Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
- Conferred with the “Travel Entrepreneur of the Year” award at the 19th annual TTG(Travel Trade Gazette) Travel Awards. The awards were presented at a glittering ceremony and gala dinner on Thursday 25th October, 2007 at the Sofitel Centara Grand, Bangkok
- Awarded the prestigious “Man of the Year Award” by the Aviation Press Club (APC) at its 30th Anniversary on Wednesday, April 09, 2008, in Belgium. The Aviation Press Club is an influential club of Belgian Aviation Journalists
- Accorded the Business Person of the Year award by UK Trade & Investment at the prestigious India Business Awards 2008, in Mumbai on September 9th, 2008
- Honoured at the fourth edition of the prestigious CNBC TV18 India Business Leader Awards, in the ‘Taking India Abroad’ award category, at the Taj Land’s End, Mumbai on January 22, 2009
- Voted “International Entrepreneurs of the Year”, along with wife Anita Goyal, Executive Vice President- Revenue Management and Network Planning, Jet Airways by the readers of Asian Voice, the highest circulation newspaper among the Asian Community in the UK. Mr. Goyal received the award from the Rt. Hon Geoff Hoon MP, UK Secretary of State for Transport, at the UK House of Commons in February 27, 2009
- Presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award of the Year by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) by the Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Chhagan Bhujbal, to the Chairman of the Jet Airways Group at a glittering ceremony held at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai in August 2010
- Naresh Goyal receives prestigious ‘Hall of Fame’ honour from Hotel Investment Forum of India 2011. The award was presented by the Honorable Minister for Tourism Kumari Selja at a glittering ceremony held in Mumbai, in January 2011
- In a unique honour, Belgium conferred the “Commandeur of the Order of Leopold II”, one of the country’s highest civilian distinctions, on Mr. Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways, for his meritorious service and efforts to foster business and cultural ties with Belgium. This distinction was conferred on him by H.E The King of the Belgians in November 2011
- In October 2012, Amity University NCR region honoured Jet Airways and its Chairman, Naresh Goyal with the “Amity Leadership Award for Business Excellence by leveraging Information and Communications technology in the aviation sector
- Conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Year, for his significant contribution to the aviation industry in India at the Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards 2014, on July 18th, 2014 in Mumbai.
- Jet Airways’ Chairman Naresh Goyal honoured as ‘The Iconic Indian’ by Bharat International Tourism Bazaar (BITB) / ITB Berlin in recognition of his significant contribution towards promoting global tourism to India in the Aviation industry. Shri Najeeb Jung, Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Delhi and Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, jointly presented the award to Mr. Naresh Goyal, in New Delhi on October 04, 2016.
Naresh Goyal finally bit the bullet and stepped down from the beleaguered carrier that he started more than 25 years ago, opening the door to new suitors to step in and help keep the airline afloat. Goyal and his wife Anita announced their exit in a filling with the stock exchange that stated Jet’s lenders will take control of the airline.
The banks, led by the State Bank of India, have taken a controlling stake in the airline. However, they have converted only 1 rupee of their debt into equity. That means the airline still needs to service all of its existing loans. As part of the resolution plan, they will also provide funding of Rs 1,500 crore ($215 million) immediately, money that would be used to partly clear debt payments to lessors, vendors, creditors and employees in a phased manner
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