Jet Airways employees carry out protest outside Mumbai Airport
Hundreds of employees of the now-grounded Jet Airways, who have been unpaid for several months, protested outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The fresh round of protests come days after employees of the cash-strapped airline conducted a silent demonstration the government’s inaction in helping the carrier.
The four bidders chosen by State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders are expected to announce the final bids by May 10. As of now, the employees have no clarity about their future and the pending dues. The employees are still hopeful that the investors will come forward and save the airline.
The lenders of Jet Airways, which are currently managing the airline, have till date refused to provide funds for restarting the operations.
Earlier on April 27, over 200 employees of Jet Airways took out a candlelight march near Jantar Mantar appealing to the lenders of the airline and the Centre to "Save Jet Airways".
The employees were carrying placards with slogans such as "Save Jet Airways, Save Our Future" and "We have dependents to feed, please don't let 9W bleed". 9W is the code for Jet Airways like 6E is for IndiGo.
After flying for 25 years, Jet Airways on April 17 announced temporary grounding of operations after the lenders declined a Rs 400-crore lifeline, putting at stake 20,000 jobs and thousands of crores in passenger refunds, dues to vendors and over Rs 8,500 crore to banks.
Founded by Naresh Goyal, who began as a general sales agent to a host of international airlines with travel agency Jetair, the full-service carrier served tens of millions of passengers for over two-and-half decades, before becoming the seventh domestic carrier to shutter operations in the past five years.
However, the once-premier airline flew into deeper turbulence-second in its history after the 2010 crisis-- after four back-to-back quarterly losses, leaving it gasping for financial breath and forcing it to default on payments to nearly all--from banks to lessors, to employees, and eventually leading to the shutdown from tonight as its fleet strength has crimped to just about five planes from 123 in December last.