Jet Airways forced to cancel 14 flights as unpaid pilots report sick
03 December 2018
Beleaguered Jet Airways, which announced plans to withdraw flight services on as many as seven Gulf routes from this month, on Sunday cancelled 14 flights after unpaid employees reported sick, reports quoting sources said.
Jet Airways, which is struggling to keep itself afloat in the wake of a dismal financial performance in the last three quarters, said its management is trying to resolve and is currently discussing the ongoing crisis over unpaid salaries and other issues with employees.
Some pilots reported sick on Sunday leading to the cancellation of flights, according to a PTI report. The airline’s spokesperson, however, said the cancellations were due to unforeseen operational issues and not due to pilot non-cooperation.
“Would like to reiterate that the reason for cancellations of 2nd Dec flights was due to an unforeseen operational circumstance and not pilot non-cooperation, as being unduly speculated,” the loss-making airline said.
The management is in regular dialogue with pilots and other teams to discuss and resolve on-going issues including disbursement of salaries, it added.
"As many as 14 flights were cancelled after some pilots reported sick protesting against non-payment of salary, dues and the indifferent attitude of the National Aviator's Guild (NAG) in taking up the issue with the management," PTI had yesterday quoted an unnamed source as saying.
NAG is the pilot body of domestic flights in the airline of which nearly 1000 pilots are members.
The Naresh Goyal-controlled airline will withdraw its flight services on as many as seven Gulf routes from this month, halting as many as 39 services per week to Doha, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai from various Indian cities, an airline source was quoted as saying.
Jet Airways said Gulf operations are being optimised to focus on connectivity at its hubs in Mumbai and Delhi instead of point-to-point connectivity. The airline also said it will be enhancing frequency on Mumbai-Doha, Delhi-Doha as well as Mumbai-Dubai routes.
"Jet Airways has undertaken a comprehensive review of its network, whereby it will move capacity from uneconomical routes to more profitable ones, to more closely align the capacity offered with the demand characteristics of specific markets," Jet Airways said in a statement.
"It is important to note that the scale of the airline's operations will remain unaffected," it added.
The airline has been defaulting on its payments of salaries to pilots, senior management and engineers since August owing to cash crunch. The airline has partially paid the salaries of the staff members for September while October and November salaries are yet to be disbursed.
Jet Airways posted a net loss of Rs1,261 crore during the September quarter. This was the airline's third successive quarterly loss. Amid cash paucity, it has been defaulting on salary payments to 15 per cent of its workforce, primarily senior management, pilots and engineers.