It’s one storm after another for ailing airline Jet Airways. Just days after lenders agreed to infuse Rs 1,500 crore as part of an immediate relief measure, the pilot union of Jet Airways says there is no update on the status of salary payment yet.
As stated earlier, pilots at the cash-strapped will go on a strike from April 1, announced the pilot union in a late night development.
Pilots at the airline had asked it to clear a substantial chunk of their salary before the end of the month, adding that they would stop flying if their demands are not met.
Arrears of 1,100 Jet pilots, which have accumulated over the past few months, have not been disbursed even after a rescue plan was initiated by lenders after Naresh Goyal resigned from the airline’s board.
The National Aviators Guild (NAG) confirmed in a statement that a part of the expected interim funding from State Bank of India was supposed to be “actioned” on March 29 but the fund transfer has not yet taken place.
“Hence, there is no update on salary payment from the management. The collective decision of pilots taken at Mumbai and Delhi open house effective April 1, 2019, IST prevails.”
This is another huge blow for the airline in a matter of just a few days. According to reports, the airline has also let go of many expat pilots to cut down on extra operational costs.
As of now, the airline is operating less than half of its operational fleet, much of which has been grounded due to non-payment of lease rentals.
Lenders, who have now taken control of the airline with 51 per cent majority stake, are hopeful of restoring at least 78 aircraft by the April quarter to get the airline back on its foot.
However, the real challenge for the lenders will be to find a suitable buyer for the airline.