Over 1,000 Jet Airways pilots not to fly from Monday

Understanding what lies ahead of Jet Airways

Understanding what lies ahead of Jet Airways

Around 1,100 Jet Airway pilots have decided not to fly from 10 am Monday in protest against "non-payment of salary dues".

A Business Standard newspaper report on Sunday said Jet's lenders, led by the SBI, are considering a proposal to infuse 10 billion rupees ($145 million) to keep the airline afloat once Jet submits a plan on how it intends to use the money.

"Jet Airways has now suspended operations to the SAARC and Asean destinations, as well as to Toronto and Paris from Chennai and back", Jet Airways said in a statement. "Monday again, they (Jet Airways) will be approaching the bank".

"Till date we are awaiting the funding and, meanwhile, our beloved airline is dying a slow death along with unpaid salaries of pilots and engineers for over 3 months", a member said. This apart, the airline has also defaulted on the March salary of other categories of employees as well.

The airline management and SBI have been discussing a loan of Rs 1,500-crore since last month as part of a rescue deal for the debt-ridden airline, whereas the airline owes around Rs 3,500 crore to passengers for cancelled flights.

The meeting with lenders is reportedly expected to take a final decision on the quantum of funds to be infused immediately to avert a possible shut down of the airline.

A pilot who confirmed his participation in Monday's joint visit to the airline headquarters to seek answers said, "Everytime there has been a ray of hope, it seems to flicker and die out without anything fruitful transpiring".

An Open House will be called shortly as per the availability of the venue and the committee members, its communication added. So we have made a decision to go ahead with our call of no-flying from April 15. However, on March 31, it deferred the agitation to April 15, saying it wanted to give additional time to the new management to settle down prior to addressing its pending salaries issue.

Struggling for survival because of a severe cash crunch, Jet Airways has suspended its operations in the SAARC and Asean regions indefinitely, besides extending suspension of its services to Toronto and Paris from Chennai and back.

The airline, which has debts of more than $1 billion, also cancelled more worldwide flights to Europe and North America for the upcoming week.