Jet Airways’ Pilots Say No to Additional Duties If Salary Dues Not Cleared by November 30

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Avoiding a major accident, Jet Airways moved passengers to a different aircraft as smoke was reported in a flight from Bengaluru to Mangaluru before take-off. The aircraft was grounded at the Kempegowda Internationa Airport for repair work.

New Delhi, November 19: Months after not receiving salaries on time, pilots of Jet Airways have threatened not to perform additional duties from December if their dues were not cleared by November 30. According to reports, the airline’s domestic pilots’ body National Aviator’s Guild (NAG), that has been quite so far allegedly over the issue, is likely to meet on Tuesday to discuss the prevailing financial situation at the carrier. However, queries sent to Jet Airways on the issue did not yield any response.

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According to a report by PTI, the pilots have decided that they will not perform any additional duty from the next month and will only adhere to the roster from December 1 if all salary dues are not cleared by November end. Sources informed that the decision has been communicated to the management verbally. Jet Airways to Get Tata Group's Helping Hand, May Merge With Vistara, Stock Jumps 25% on Revival Hopes. 

The airline has been reporting losses since last three successive quarters and defaulting on salary payments to a section of its staff. Reports inform that nearly 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. These pilots are yet to receive the remaining 50 per cent of the month’s (September) salary, besides the full salary of October. Jet Airways Crisis: Airline Posts Rs 1,300 Crore Loss in Q3, Plans to Cut Flights in Less Profitable Routes as Revival Strategy.

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During the post Q2 earnings analysts call last week, Jet Airways Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube had acknowledged that almost 15 per cent employees have not been receiving their salaries on time and I am sure they are less than happy. According to the source, as against 75 to 80 hours of flying per month, the Jet Airways’ pilots have been flying up to 90 hours per month by taking up over-time duties as there is an acute shortage of pilots, particularly on the Boeing 737 fleet.

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

On Sunday, hundreds of passengers of Jet Airways were left stranded at Mumbai airport after the carrier cancelled nearly 10 domestic flights. In its statement, Jet Airways said the flights were cancelled from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) due to "operational issues".  Reports informed that the airline source claimed the flights were cancelled due to pilots' scarcity.

(With inputs from PTI)