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After management’s commitment of December salaries, Jet pilots to decide on strike today

The Jet pilots, who are all set to stop flying from April 1, will meet today for a final decision on the strike, a senior National Aviators Guild (NAG) member said.

This comes after the management of Jet Airways Ltd wrote to the employees on Saturday (March 30) committing that the pilots would be paid only their ‘December’ salaries from the interim funding.

A copy of the email has been reviewed by India Today TV.

“These [bank-led resolution process] are complex processes and it has taken longer than we had expected and as such we are only able to remit your remaining salary for December, 2018. We realise that this remittance does not lift the financial hardship that each of you are facing and we do not take your sacrifices for granted,” Vinay Dube, chief executive officer, Jet, in the email said.

The bank consortium led by State Bank of India (SBI) to aid the debt-ridden airline has decided to convert their debt into equity or Jet shares. With these shares the banks now control the decision making process. In exchange of these shares the banks, as an interim measure, has decided to give an interim funding of Rs 1,500 crore to keep the Jet operations.

“While this is a positive statement we are not sure this is enough. We will first see the amount that is credited to our accounts as we have to take care of our families and future. Not all pilots may agree on calling off the strike or going on the strike. To keep the process democratic, the NAG will hold a meeting today to take a final call,” the NAG member said.

The pilots had decided to go on a strike starting April 1 after arrears of 1,100 Jet pilots, which have accumulated over the past few months, were not disbursed even after the bank funding.

In a bid to assuage the concerns of the pilots and other crew of the airline, the management also said that they are working on resolving the crisis.

“You also have our commitment that the board of directors and the management team are working as fast as possible to implement the resolution plan agreed with the consortium of Indian lenders to quickly restore the much-needed stability to our operations and build a sustainable future for the airline,” Dube said in the email.

“Our Pilots, AMEs and senior management team in particular have persevered despite the adverse personal and financial impact it has had on each individual and their respective families. We understand the hardship, anxiety and uncertainty which each of you have endured and for that you have our deepest, heartfelt gratitude,” he added.

The airline is currently operating less than half of its operational fleet, much of which has been grounded due to non-payment of lease rentals.

The airline is hopeful of restoring some of these grounded aircraft, to take the number to 78, with the interim funding to keep the operations going.


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