India’s biggest full-service carrier Jet Airways cancelled at least 14 flights on Sunday after some pilots reported “sick” over their unpaid salaries, sources said.
The loss-making Jet Airways has been defaulting on the payment of salaries to its senior management, pilots and engineers since August due to a severe cash crunch.
Jet Airways has partially paid the salaries of these staff members for September even as the full salaries of October and November remain unpaid.
“At least 14 flights have been cancelled so far due to some pilots reporting sick. They are protesting against the non-payment of salaries and the attitude of the National Aviator’s Guild (NAG) in taking up the issue with the management,” the source said.
The NAG is a domestic-pilots body of Jet Airways, representing over a 1,000 pilots.
Jet Airways has said that the flights were cancelled over an “unforeseen operational circumstance” and not because of the protest by pilots.
“Some pilots have also written to Chairman Naresh Goyal, saying they are unwilling to work this way,” another source said.
Jet Airways said the passengers of the cancelled flights were informed about the status of their flights via SMS alerts and that they were re-accommodated or compensated.
“The company continues to enjoy the complete support and cooperation of all its employees, including pilots and engineers, individually and through their respective representative bodies, who have extended their solidarity and full support to the airline,” Jet Airways said.
Jet Airways also said that the management of the private carrier is in a “continuous dialogue” with the pilots and other teams to discuss and resolve the ongoing issues including the disbursement of salaries.
“As stated earlier, Jet Airways is committed to meet its obligations and has been progressively addressing this issue with the employees,” the statement by the airlines added.