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Jet Airways crisis deepens due to rift with pilots of salary dues

Jet Airways crisis deepens due to rift with pilots of salary dues
(Image Credit: Twitter)

The pilots of Jet Airways have threatened not to perform additional duties from next month if their salary dues were not cleared by November 30, an airline source said Monday.

Besides, the airline's domestic pilots body, National Aviator's Guild (NAG), which has so far allegedly been soft on the issue, is likely to meet here Tuesday to discuss the prevailing financial situation at the carrier, he said.

The Naresh Goyal-controlled private carrier has been reporting losses since the last three successive quarters and defaulting on salary payments to a section of its staff.

"Pilots have decided that they will not perform any additional duty and adhere only to the roster from December 1 if all salary dues are not cleared by November 30. The decision has been communicated to the management verbally," the source told PTI.

Around 1,600 Jet Airways pilots along with the cash-starved airline's engineers and senior management officials have been paid only 50 per cent of the September salary.

Jet Airways, in its response, said it is "committed" to meet its obligations and has been progressively addressing the issue (of unpaid salaries).

It also clarified the carrier has paid 75 per cent of the September salary to these categories of staffers.

"As stated earlier, the airline is committed to meeting its obligations and has been progressively addressing compensation matters for its remaining 15 per cent employees," a Jet Airways spokesperson said in a statement to PTI.

Only last week, the company remitted another tranche to complete 75 per cent of the pending September salary payments to the concerned section of employees, it added.

"All employees of the company, including its pilots and engineers, continue to actively cooperate to ensure its successful turnaround," the airline said.

"Almost 15 per cent employees have not been receiving their salaries on time and I am sure they are less than happy," Jet Airways Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube had acknowledged during the post Q2 earnings analysts call last week.

According to the source, as against 75 to 80 hours of flying per month, Jet Airways' pilots have been flying up to 90 hours a month by taking up over-time duties as there is an acute shortage of pilots, particularly on the Boeing 737 fleet.

Notably, as many as 10 domestic flights were cancelled abruptly from Mumbai on Sunday due to a shortage of pilots, though the airline attributed the cancellation to "operational reasons".

After posting a loss of Rs 1,323 crore in the June quarter, Jet Airways announced in September that it will pay pilots, engineers and senior management in two tranches -- 11th and 26th of every month -- till November, a schedule which it has failed to stick to.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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