Jet rules out job losses in cost cutting drive

Jet rules out job losses in cost cutting drive

Mumbai: Jet Airways Ltd, India’s top private carrier, said on Wednesday it has no plans to cut jobs in drive to save costs and instead look to non-payroll areas to streamline operations.

“In view of spiralling operational costs and increase in fuel prices, Jet Airways is continually looking at several non-payroll areas at cutting costs," the firm said in an e-mail response to Reuters.

Jet, which will report quarterly results on Friday, said in a statement that it sought to bring down costs through all possible measures “but without bringing down its workforce."

Jet did not elaborate on the cost cutting initiatives, but has in the past said it plans to sell and lease back aircraft as well as cut interest costs by converting rupee loans into dollar debt.

Despite domestic passenger traffic growing at close to 19% in the first eight months of the year, most Indian carriers are loss-making and burdened with high debt incurred to finance expensive aircraft acquisitions.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has forecast a record $2.5-$3 billion loss for Indian airlines for the year ending March 2012, with state-run Air India alone likely to account for more than half of it.

Jet’s rival Kingfisher Airlines , which has sought lenders’ help to ease its debt burden, on Tuesday said it has cancelled or clubbed flights across some routes where demand has been slow.

Jet Airways shares, valued at $471.8 million, were trading up 1.5% at Rs271.5 in a choppy Mumbai market. The stock has lost 65% of its value so far in 2011, compared with a 14.3% fall in the larger index.