Cash-strapped Jet Airways receives about 100 pilot resignations since August

By: | Published: September 7, 2018 4:23 AM

Cash-strapped Jet Airways is understood to have received resignations from about 100 of its pilots since August till date on the ground that there’s uncertainty regarding the future of the airline.

jet, ajet airways, aviation sector, aviation industryJet has till date not paid its pilots and engineering staff salaries for the month of August and the management has also not indicated the time frame when will the salaries be credited for this section
of employees.

Cash-strapped Jet Airways is understood to have received resignations from about 100 of its pilots since August till date on the ground that there’s uncertainty regarding the future of the airline and lack of clarity on the turnaround plan.

Jet has till date not paid its pilots and engineering staff salaries for the month of August and the management has also not indicated the time frame when will the salaries be credited for this section
of employees.

In August, Jet along with its promoter and chairman Naresh Goyal, had discussions with its pilots and engineers, that form around 16% of the workforce but are one of the highest paid resources, for a 15% pay cut which was rejected outright by the pilots and the engineers.

In a recent mail written to Jet management over non-payment of salaries for the month of August, Jet pilots have warned of non-cooperation if they do not get paid.
“It is the pilots who are being forced to bear the brunt of this financial mismanagement. Further, the request of all pilots who have tendered their resignation and asked for an immediate release be acceded with immediate effect,” the pilots wrote in a mail to the management on August 4.

Till the time of going to the press, an e-mail query to Jet on the subject remained unanswered.

However, sources in the company said that in a late evening communications, Jet’s people officer Rahul Taneja said that salaries for general managers and above, cockpit crew and engineers for the month of August shall be disbursed in two installments — 50% by September 11 and balance by September 26.

For September and October 2018, the same disbursement will be followed. However, this could not be independently confirmed.

Of its 16,000 employees, Jet has 2,000 pilots which means the airline has received resignations of about 5% of its cockpit crew.

An airline pilot, according to the civil aviation rules in India, is mandated to serve a six months notice period, though the contract with the airline mentions it as three months.

But the pilots are demanding that since not getting paid is a violation of contractual obligation by Jet of the basic service conditions, this rule should not apply.

During the April-June quarter, Jet registered a loss of `1,323 crore, while its employee costs went up by 12.6% at Rs 816.29 crore.

Annual employee costs at Jet is one of the highest in the industry and wage bill of the carrier for FY18 stood at Rs 3,174.22 crore, up 17% from FY17, the year that saw a huge spike in Jet employee costs. Jet has accumulated losses of `10, 878 crore. Its gross debt stands at `8,424 crore and due to high fuel costs and a depreciating rupee interest costs during the first quarter went up by 27.4% from the previous quarter to Rs 248.9 crore.

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