Jet Airways staring at imminent crash as pilots threaten strike from April 1

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Published: March 20, 2019 2:39:12 AM

The schedule was arrived at after a review meeting was held between the DGCA and Jet Airways officials in New Delhi. According to the assessment made by the aviation regulator, the airline has only 41 aircraft of its original 119 fleet, available for operations, which is a reduction of 65%.

Jet Airways staring at imminent crash as pilots threaten strike from April 1Jet Airways staring at imminent crash as pilots threaten strike from April 1

Things are fast deteriorating for troubled carrier Jet Airways with lenders and stakeholders yet to formalise a funding plan as a key player, Etihad, is still to come on board. On Tuesday, Jet submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) a curtailed flight schedule of 603 domestic and 382 international per week, a decline of 77% from 4,200 weekly flights it operated about two months ago.

The schedule was arrived at after a review meeting was held between the DGCA and Jet Airways officials in New Delhi. According to the assessment made by the aviation regulator, the airline has only 41 aircraft of its original 119 fleet, available for operations, which is a reduction of 65%.

Tuesday’s meeting by the DGCA was held on the directions of civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu to review the grounding of planes by Jet, advance bookings by the airline and subsequent cancellations and refunds to be made available to the passengers as per existing norms.

The minister also directed the DGCA to look into the safety of operations at Jet as the airline is going through a financially stressed period.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the pilots union of Jet Airways — The National Aviators Guild (NAG) — unanimously decided not to fly from April 1 if the resolution plan is delayed and salary dues are not cleared by the end of this month.

Jet pilots, about 1,700 in number, have accumulated unpaid salaries for three months. The Jet management in its earlier discussions had assured pilots of clearing all dues by March end, but the company has defaulted on this promise.

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A large part of the airline’s fleet is grounded due to non-payment of dues to leasing firms. Over the past couple of weeks Jet has shut down few of its domestic sectors, cancelled international flights and grounded all flights to Abu Dhabi.

There might be further changes to this schedule and more flights can be pulled out. “It is a dynamic situation and there may be further attrition in coming weeks,” the DGCA said in a statement.

The regulator also said it is continuously monitoring the overall situation at Jet. “Will take appropriate steps by the end of this month based on the same”.

In its statement the DGCA said that it has directed Jet Airways to ensure that no pilot/cabin crew/AMEs be rostered on duty who had reported stress of any nature.

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