Etihad strategist Kamark to join Jet board

Our Bureaus Mumbai/New Delhi | Updated on November 26, 2018 Published on November 26, 2018

Robin Kamark

Does move signal more fund infusion by UAE airline?

Robin Kamark, who is responsible for Etihad Aviation Group’s minority equity investment strategy, and for optimising business performance, revenue and cost synergies between the Abu Dhabi-based airline and its equity partners around the world, is set to join the Jet Airways board on December 1.

Jet informed the BSE on Monday that Kamark will replace Harish Mohan in a move that market experts said could indicate the possibility of a fresh equity infusion by Etihad into the cash-strapped airline.

“The fact that Etihad has replaced an operations person with someone with expertise in investment strategies and cost synergies says a lot about its intent,’ said an aviation industry analyst on condition of anonymity.

The country’s oldest private-sector airline is in urgent need of funds. It reported a net loss of ₹1,261 crore in September this year. Etihad has a 26 per cent stake in Jet, which can go up to 49 per cent under FDI rules.

Analysts believe Jet requires an equity infusion of about $1 billion to run on a sustainable basis. They also believe that global crude oil prices declining to around $60 a barrel has given the carrier a breather to look for an investment partner.

Jet staff, meanwhile, have an uncertain time ahead. A meeting was held today between the management and pilots to discuss delays in salary payments. While both Jet and the pilots’ association did not comment on the meeting, sources said the management allayed fears of any further delays in payment of salaries.

There was also a discussion on better management of the pilot roster to ensure fair work.

Sixteen told to leave

Meanwhile, a PTI report said 16 employees — working as ground staff at Jet’s Kochi and Hyderabad offices — have been asked to go.

A company source said the employees were a part of the ticketing office in Hyderabad and the airline has shut several ticketing offices in metros.

In Kochi, the source added, fewer employees are required, so some were asked to relocate.

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Published on November 26, 2018
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