The Bombay high court allowed the crisis-hit Akasa Air to proceed with its case seeking contractual damages from pilots who exited the company allegedly without serving a notice period, on Wednesday. The airline’s operator, SNV Aviation Pvt Ltd, had approached the high court against a few pilots who had abruptly resigned without serving the mandatory notice period as required by their contracts.
According to the airline’s norms, pilots who are first officers are required to serve a notice period of six months and captains for one year.
Responding to the move, former Akasa Air pilots challenged the maintainability of lawsuits filed against them before the Bombay HC. They argued that since the contracts were not executed in Mumbai, the Bombay high court was not the right court to proceed with the dispute.
Akasa has argued that its employment contract with the pilots grants exclusive jurisdiction to the Mumbai courts. In such a case, the Bombay high court has the jurisdiction to move ahead with the suits.
The high court posted the matter for consideration of grant of relief to Akasa Air on October 4.
It is to be noted that Akasa is seeking significant compensation, reaching crores of rupees, from pilots who quit the airline before completing a mandatory notice period. In its lawsuit, it has cited operational losses and damage to the airline’s reputation due to the flight cancellations resulting from the pilots’ abrupt resignations.