Jet Airways’ pilots writes to PM, seeks intervention on non-payment of salaries


NEW DELHI: The Jet Airways piolets have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and instruct the management to release their pending salaries.

“We fear that the airline is on the verge of collapse. This will leave thousands of people unemployed”, said the National Aviators Guild (NAG), the registered trade union of Jet Airways Indian piolets.

“It will change the dynamics of aviation as fares will increase due to a reduction of capacity and travellers will face inconvenience”, they added.

NAG pointed out that though the airlines are going through financial crisis, all employees except for pilots and engineers are getting payment on time.

“The pilots and engineers are now almost three months behind salaries and facing a lot of financial hardship with no relief in sight. Our repeated pleas to the management have gone unread. The pilots have maintained professionalism and not hampered operations of the airlines as that would have had a catastrophic effect on passengers travel plans”, read the letter.

On Tuesday, aviation minister Suresh Prabhu had directed to hold an emergency meeting on the debt-ridden airline that has been cancelling flights abruptly following grounding of a large part of its fleet.

In the meeting, the umbrella body of the domestic pilots of the Jet Airways had decided to stop flying from April 1, if the resolution plan is delayed and salary dues are not cleared by the end of this month.

“We should know the progress of the resolution plan and the future plan of the company by March 31 or we will refrain from flying duties," NAG Vice President, Captain Asim Valiani had said.

"If there is no proper clarity on the resolution process and salary payments by the end of this month, we will stop flying from April 1," he added.

The National Aviator’s Guild was formed on the 10th of June 2009, which represents around 1,135 domestic pilots at the airline.

Jet Airways, which is facing its worst-ever financial crisis, has not paid salaries to its employees since November last year.

Earlier, having failed to get any assurance from the management on salaries, the NAG had written to Union labour minister Santosh Gangwar seeking his intervention.

The jet airlines had been forced to cancel hundreds of flights as it fights competition, rupee depreciation and rising fuel costs.

On Monday, the Jet Airways had said it has grounded four more aircraft due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their respective lease agreements.

Jet Airways is facing the worst financial crisis of its 25-year existence. The airline has grounded about half its fleet, cancelled flights, delayed salaries and defaulted on the loan and other payments.


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