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Last Updated : Apr 18, 2019 07:17 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Jet Airways employees seek Prime Minster's intervention to solve their woes

All India Jet Airways Officers & Staff Association (AIJAOSA), that’s representing the employees of beleaguered Jet Airways wrote a letter seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to resolve the ensuing crisis at the debt-laden airlines.

Viswanath Pilla @viswanath_pilla
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All India Jet Airways Officers & Staff Association (AIJAOSA), that’s representing the employees of beleaguered Jet Airways wrote a letter seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to resolve the ensuing crisis at the debt-laden airlines.

“We sincerely appeal to you at this hour of crisis and request your urgent intervention to define a blueprint of revival and consolidation thereby avoiding loss of employment and critical damage to the aviation industry of India,” wrote Kiran Pawaskar, President of AIJAOSA and a member of Maharashtra Legislative Council of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Moneycontrol viewed a copy of the letter dated on April 17, that was also copied to finance and civil aviation ministries.

Close

The cash strapped Jet Airways suspended operations indefinitely, after its lone aircraft that flew from Amritsar to Mumbai, was grounded on April 17.

The airline’s lenders led by SBI after deliberations decided against fresh lending to the company. Instead, they said they will wait for new investors. The cut-off date for receiving binding bids from potential investors who have expressed interest is May 10.

Unpaid salaries

Jet Airways has little over 16,000 employees on its roles. While the pilots, engineers and senior management were not getting salaries from January, the company had defaulted the March salary for the rest of the staff, putting severe hardship on the employees and their dependent family members.

Jet Airways consists of around 7,000 ground handling staff, the rest are pilots, engineers, cabin crew and management staff.

Another 6,000 workers who provide services to Jet Airways through various vendors are also impacted by airline stopping operations.

Emotions ran high on April 18 as scores of employees turned up at airline’s Mumbai headquarters raising slogans and seeking answers from the management on how they plan to pay the staff. The staff later formed a human chain and blocked the entrance of the Jet Airways office, before dispersing peacefully.

Abhasi Amina, a 30-year-old customer service supervisor of Jet Airways told Moneycontrol, she hasn’t paid the equated monthly instalment (EMI) of her personal loan and has to borrow money to even pay her house rent and for groceries. Amina has been a Jet Airways employee for seven years and was rated a top performer.

Another employee B Prathamesh, 27 said he hasn't paid his EMI in April and is now being hounded by his bank. Prathamesh has been on Jet rolls for five years. He said it was tough to find a new job in other airlines and they were offering a 50 percent lower salary.

Another senior cabin crew staffer who has served at the airline for nine years on both domestic and international routes, on the condition of anonymity said: “We don't have too many options right now. We are waiting till May 10, a date on which the potential buyer of Jet Airways will be known."

Jet Airways has been operating for the last 25 years with a fleet size of 119 aircraft. Trouble for Jet began in October 2018, leading to abrupt flight cancellations becoming the norm. Things went fully out-of-control from February, with airlines grounding most of its aircraft, due to liquidity issues.

Employees said there were some instances where ground handling staff were manhandled and abused by angry passengers, whose flights were cancelled.

The airline has a debt of Rs 8,000 crore and stopped repaying its loans from January. Founder-Promoter Naresh Goyal was forced to resign in March as a potential investor threatened to back out if he continued. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad that holds 24 percent stake in Jet Airways, is now in the race along with TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and NIIF to acquire Jet Airways.

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First Published on Apr 18, 2019 07:17 pm
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