New Delhi: The country’s largest private airline, Jet Airways, has firmed up plans to “phase out” some of its expatriate pilots and not fill other vacant positions in the ensuing months as part of cost-cutting moves.
The company will “phase out excess expatriate pilots” over the next few months. It will “not replace staff vacancies which arise due to staff attrition”, according to reliable sources.
When contacted, a company spokesperson confirmed the airline’s decision to trim foreign pilot headcount but declined to give the exact number to be phased-out.
“The excess foreign pilots over the next few months would be phased out depending on the capacity rationalisation undertaken. So we do not have an estimate of the number of pilots at the moment,” she said.
The Naresh Goyal-promoted company has 252 foreign pilots out of a total of 1,350 pilots.
The airline has already announced discontinuation of Mumbai-Shanghai-San Francisco flight, as part of its route rationalisation exercise.
The decision about the foreign pilots comes on the back of their Indian counterparts demanding removal of expatriate pilots from the airline.
As for the other staff, vacancies will not be filled across various departments such as cabin-crew, sales and marketing and administration, the spokesperson said.
A host of carriers, including Jet, have defaulted in payments to oil marketing companies for the purchase of aviation turbine fuel. Jet’s total outstanding to Indian Oil Corp, as on 21 October 2008 stood at Rs859 crore. It owed Rs284.3 crore to Bharat Petroleum on the same date.
The airline reported a loss of Rs214.18 crore for the third quarter after a record loss of Rs384.5 crore in the immediately preceding three-month period.