Jet Airways’ pilots body, the National Aviator's Guild (NAG), on Sunday, 14 April, deferred its “no flying” call to a later date, particularly when the management is scheduled to meet the lenders on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Guild, which has around 1,100 pilots as its members, decided to stop flying from 15 April in protest against non-payment of salaries since March, reported PTI.
"“It is come to our notice that there is a critical meeting planned tomorrow (Monday) morning with the airline management and SBI. In light of the meeting, the members have requested, through their team leaders, that the call of ‘No Pay No Work’ be deferred to give the airline a chance of survival. Accordingly, as requested, the Committee would like to inform all that the decision stands deferred for the time being.”" - NAG’s communication to its members
All pilots are still requested, however, to be present at Siroya Centre at 9:30 am on 15 April in their uniforms, it said.
Siroya Centre is Jet Airways’ headquarters in Andheri suburb in Mumbai.
The airline had also extended the suspension of West-bound flights till 16 April.
The NAG, which claims representation of around 1,100 pilots of the total 1,600 with the full service carrier, had in late March called for no flying from 1 April over non-payment of salaries.
However, on 31 March, it deferred the agitation to 15 April, saying it wanted to give more time to the new management.
Jet Airways is at present under the management control of SBI-led consortium of lenders after the approval of a debt-rejig plan last month, which also led its founder chairman Naresh Goyal to quit.
Rajshree Pathy Resigns as Jet Independent Director
Meanwhile, Jet Airways’ Independent Director Rajshree Pathy has quit the company.
"This is to inform you that Rajshree Pathy has submitted her resignation as an Independent Director of the company with effect from 13 April, owing to time constraints and on account of her other current commitments," Jet Airways said in an exchange filing.
Jet’s Loss, SpiceJet’s Gain
Meanwhile, low-cost carrier and top rival SpiceJet appears to be making the most of the crisis at Jet Airways.
SpiceJet is now hiring engineers and pilots at much lower pay than their current salaries at the financially-troubled Jet.
Industry sources told IANS that pilots from Jet Airways are being asked to take salary cuts of 25-30 percent while engineers have been advised to settle at 50 percent of their current pay package.
Not long ago, many airlines including SpiceJet were luring the same pilots and engineers with joining bonuses and better perks.
"The prospect of closure is certainly one of the reasons for professionals agreeing to take salary cuts. But average salaries at Jet Airways have also been higher than the industry level," a top aviation source said.
A senior aircraft maintenance engineer who has applied to SpiceJet and Air India Express for a job said that he has got an offer in the range of Rs 150,000 to 200,000 a month while his current cost to company (CTC) at Jet Airways is nearly Rs 400,000 a month.
“The offer is much lower. It will certainly be a forced choice. We are hoping that some investor would take over Jet and our salaries will remain protected,” he said.
A SpiceJet executive said that the budget carrier was offering salaries based on their own structure and not the highly inflated one paid by Jet Airways.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)
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