More trouble for cash-strapped Jet Airways as around 1,000 pilots have decided to take the “no-flying call” from April 1 after the airlines failed to get funds from banks, meaning a further delay in payment of salaries and dues. Pilots have not been paid their dues for the past four months.
"Dear Members, a part of the expected interim funding from SBI was supposed to be actioned on Friday (March 29). Unfortunately, the fund transfer has not taken place, hence no update on salary payment from the management. The collective decision of pilots taken at Mumbai and Delhi open house effective April 1 2019 prevails," the National Aviators' Guild (NAG), union of Jet Airways' Indian pilots said late on Friday night.
Cash-strapped Jet Airways, whose board has cleared a debt resolution plan, has grounded many planes and has also defaulted on repayment of debt, including External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs).
A source said that around 200 pilots had written individually to Jet CEO Vinay Dube, threatening to go on “leave of absence”, and they were also planning to take legal recourse over non-payment of salary, on Friday, the PTI reported.
A source in the pilots’ community said around 200 pilots have written to the CEO flagging concerns about non-payment of salaries. The pilots are also members of the NAG, the source added.
Reacting to the letter, a Jet spokesperson said that the airlines was in discussions with pilots to ensure the operating schedule is maintained. “The airline remains committed to honour its obligations towards all its employees, including Pilots, AMEs (aircraft maintenance engineers) and members of its senior management, and all other employees who have sacrificed more than their fair share to uphold Jet Airways' value,” the spokesperson said.
"The Board along with our lenders, are working continuously towards a strong turn around plan which will enable the airline to restore normalcy to its operations. Jet Airways remains grateful to its pilots, engineers and members of its senior management for their patience and understanding during these trying times. To our guests, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to assure them that every measure is being taken to minimise the disruption to our operating flight schedule," the airline spokesperson added.
Jet has not paid salary to pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and senior management of past four months. The cash-strapped airlines has been grounded many planes and also defaulted on repayment of debt, including ECBs.
On Monday, Jet Airways' board approved a resolution plan formulated by SBI-led domestic lenders. Under the plan, lenders would take control of the airline and also make an immediate fund infusion of Rs 1,500 crore.