The pilots’ grouping of Jet Airways has said that the airline is on the “verge of collapse” and that they are facing lot of financial hardships without any relief in sight.
Flagging concerns about non-payment of salaries, the National Aviators Guild (NAG) has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We fear that the airline is on verge of collapse and this will leave thousands of people unemployed and change the dynamics of aviation as fares will increase due to reduction in capacity and travelling public will face major inconvenience,” the letter said.
On Tuesday, the pilots’ body warned that they would stop flying from April 1 unless there is clarity on the resolution process and salary dues by end of this month.
In the letter sent to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, the guild said that since last seven months, the salary payouts for pilots have been sporadic.
“The pilots and engineers are now almost three months behind salaries… and facing a lot of financial hardships with no relief in sight,” it said.
The guild said that uncertainty and financial difficulties are causing extreme stress to pilots and engineers.
“Stress in this section of employees can easily compromise safety and is not at all desirable in a profession that demands the highest levels of alertness and safety,” it added.
The guild represents around 1,000 domestic pilots.
On Wednesday, NAG members held a meeting in the national capital wherein they endorsed Tuesday’s decision to stop flying from April 1. The meeting was attended by around 100 pilots, according to a pilot.
Cash-strapped Jet Airways had on Monday said it had grounded four more planes, taking the number of aircraft that are non-operational due to non-payment of lease rentals to 41.
According to the Jet Airways’ website, the airline has a fleet of 119 planes. For the past few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on social media as the airline’s flight cancellations have increased gradually due to the rising number of grounded aircraft. Grappling with financial woes, the carrier has been looking at ways to raise fresh funds.
Following this, Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday directed his ministry’s secretary to hold an emergency meeting on the debt-ridden Jet Airways massively cancelling flights.
(With PTI inputs)