In the never-ending saga that is the Jet Airways crisis, another turbulence awaits the grounded airline. Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched a new investigation over possible violation of foreign exchange rules by the Mumbai-based airline while signing a $150-million (over Rs 900 crore) deal with its strategic partner Qatar-based Etihad Airways in 2014, reports Business Standard (BS).
“We have sought information from Jet about the deal and the foreign investment it received for its loyalty business,’’ said an ED official.
It is alleged that Jet did not obtain necessary approvals from the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to receive foreign funds from its partner airline Etihad in its frequent flyer programme. According to regulations, all foreign investment beyond 49 per cent requires such a nod.
“The company had taken the automatic route, which is allowed in transport services,’’ the official said. But not in loyalty programmes like Jet Privilege which require regulatory approvals.
In 2014, the Qatar-based Etiha had purchased a 50.1 per cent stake in Jet’s frequent flyer company Jet Privilege Private Limited (JPPL). The board of JPPL had allotted the remainder of the shares to Jet Airways Limited.