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Cash-strapped Jet Airways hasn’t paid salaries to a section of its staff including pilots, engineers and general managers since the past few months.reuters
Cash-strapped Jet Airways hasn’t paid salaries to a section of its staff including pilots, engineers and general managers since the past few months.reuters

Pilots give Jet time till 15 Apr to clear salary dues

  • Salaries from Jan to March, amounting to about 320 crore, are currently pending
  • Jet’s pilot union had called ‘open house’ meeting of its members in New Delhi and Mumbai

MUMBAI : About 1,100 unionized pilots of Jet Airways (India) Ltd have deferred by a fortnight a plan to abstain from work from Monday in a relief to the troubled carrier, as well as its passengers.

The pilots union, National Aviator’s Guild, took the decision after the airline management paid the remaining 87.5% of their December salary on Saturday. The pilots had earlier received 12.5% of their salaries for December.

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The NAG members who organized an ‘open house’ on Sunday afternoon have now asked the management to clear their unpaid salaries by 15 April, said a Mumbai-based Jet Airways pilot. The pilot, who is also a union member, spoke to Mint after the conclusion of an ‘open house’ meeting of the NAG to discuss the situation at the airline.

“The decision made by the pilots’ union is expected to convey to Jet Airlines chief executive Vinay Dube soon," the pilot said, requesting anonymity.

A spokesperson for Jet Airways didn’t immediately respond to queries.

Cash-strapped Jet Airways hasn’t paid salaries to a section of its staff, including pilots, engineers and general managers, since the past three months. The airline, unable to cope up with rising costs, has deferred on interest payments, besides lease rental payments to lessors, which has led to a sizeable reduction in its fleet.

Over 200 pilots wrote to Dube last week asking him to clear their pending salaries by Sunday, else they would stop flying Jet Airways planes. “Salaries from January to March 2019, which is to the tune of about 320 crore, are currently pending," said the pilot cited above.

Dube said on Saturday that the airline will only be able to fully clear the December salaries immediately. “We continue to work on additional funding on an urgent basis and shall advise you on the remaining salary arrears as the funds come in," Dube said in an email to Jet Airways’ employees.

There are an estimated 1,600 pilots at Jet Airways, of which about 1,100 are unionied.

“It’s a difficult situation as I have loans to repay every month. I am hoping that pending salaries are cleared at the earliest," said a New Delhi-based senior pilot with Jet Airways.

Last week, a consortium of lenders, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), took control of Jet Airways and have outlined plans to bring in a new investor in the carrier by May-end, according to SBI’s chairman Rajnish Kumar.

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