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Tue, 18 Jun 2019

Northeast Today

Jet Airways Pilots Say They Will Not Fly From Midnight

Jet Airways Pilots Say They Will Not Fly From Midnight
April 14
18:01 2019

NET Bureau

More than 1000 pilots and engineers of the cash-strapped Jet Airways have decided to stop flying from midnight, in effect grounding the airline, a senior official of the National Aviators Guild — the Union for Jet Airways pilots — told NDTV. Around 1,100 pilots are, however, expected to meet tomorrow morning and take a formal, collective decision.

“The flights will stop from midnight, the meeting will be held tomorrow,” said Captain Karan Chopra, Head of the National Aviators Guild. The pilots and engineers of the Jet Airways have not been paid for three months and the government should step in now, he said.

“Unemployment is an election issue… In another day or two, more than 20,000 peoplein Jet Airways can be unemployed,” he added.

Saddled with more than $1.2 billion bank debt, Jet Airways has stopped most of its international flights over the last week and is yet to receive a loan of about Rs. 1,500 crore as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March.

The move by the pilots’ union comes two days after the government promised to “review the issues” related to the airline.

Mr Chopra said the pilots and engineers of the Jet Airways have not been paid for three months and have “gone over and above the call of duty in doing our part to help keep the company afloat”.

They said they had initially been waiting for interim fund from the State Bank of India after reports of an infusion of Rs. 1,500 crore.

“It is time to seek for some answers, to humbly ask those who have the power to help us what the future may hold. Hence, we request all pilots to gather at Siroya Centre on the 15th at 1000 hrs in full uniform,” a statement from the pilots’ body read.

Over the last week, the airline had cancelled a series of flights, by Friday owing Rs. 3,500 crore to passengers alone, news agency Press Trust of India has reported.

Besides, the Mumbai-based airline owes around $1.2 billion to banks, and separately to lessors, suppliers and oil companies.

The group of Jet Airways’ lenders, led by the State Bank of India, have been seeking a new investor to take a stake of up to 75 per cent in the airline.

Initial bids were to be submitted by the end of Wednesday, but SBI has extended the deadline to April 12.

On Wednesday, Indian Oil Corporation halted the supply of fuel to Jet Airways for a few hours over non-payment of dues.

 

Source: NDTV

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