Mumbai: India’s biggest airline, Jet Airways (India) Ltd, which has formed an alliance with Kingfisher Airlines Ltd to lower costs, said it has reduced 800 flight attendant jobs and may extend the measure to as many as 1,900 positions to save $1 million (Rs4.8 crore) a month.

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d4a0fd04-9adc-11dd-bb76-000b5dabf613.flv“Around 800 flight attendants, recently recruited for the planned expansion program, which has now been suspended, have been released," Jet said in a press release on Wednesday. “We are in the process of releasing personnel in other categories also."

The company may cut as many as 1,900 jobs, executive director Saroj K. Datta said at a news conference in Mumbai. “It is an unfortunate decision, which all of us regret, but it is an attempt to save the company and the jobs of the remaining employees," he said.

Jet and Kingfisher together expect to save as much as Rs1,500 crore by sharing resources and cutting duplicate routes amid higher fuel prices, overcapacity and slowing demand. India’s airlines may post a record $2 billion loss this year, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has said. Datta denied that the alliance with Kingfisher amounted to a cartel, saying it was just rationalization and cooperation.

In Hyderabad, civil aviation minister Praful Patel said the Competition Commission of India had taken note of the deal between the two airlines. “There are enough safeguards in the system to address the possible predatory pricing emerging out of Kingfisher-Jet understanding," he said. “We will definitely step in if there is anything unfair in the deal."

PTI and Mint reporters contributed to this story.