1,000 Jet pilots will not fly planes from April 1 over non-payment of salaries

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New Delhi: Around 1,000 pilots employed with debt-ridden Jet Airways have decided to go ahead with their “no flying” call from April 1 after the airline failed to raise funds from banks on Friday. Jet, on its part, released a statement to assure that every effort was being made to restore normalcy of operations. The National Aviators Guild (NAG), the union that claims to represent some 1,100 pilots at Jet Airways, had declared last week that the pilots will not fly planes from April 1 if their dues were not cleared and a revival plan was not in place by March 31.

Days later, the airline’s ownership was transferred to the consortium of lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) under a debt-recast plan. “A part of the expected interim funding from SBI was supposed to be actioned on March 29. Unfortunately, the fund transfer has not taken place, and there is also no update on salary payment from the management. The collective decision of pilots taken at Mumbai and Delhi open house effective 1 April prevails,” NAG president Karan Chopra said in a late evening communication to the members on Friday.

Jet pilots and senior management have not been paid for about four months now.

Jet assures it will restore normalcy soon

“As announced earlier this week, the airline’s lenders and its management team would like to reiterate that every effort is being made to inject adequate liquidity into the company, to quickly restore normalcy of operations, ensuring due compliance with all appropriate legal processes/formalities at the same time,” a Jet Airways spokesperson said in a statement.

“While acknowledging the support of each and every member of its family, Jet Airways especially recognises the contribution of its pilots, AMEs and members of its senior management, who have sacrificed personal interests and have gone beyond their call of duty in order to ensure safe and reliable operations for the airlines guests,” it said.

The move comes after around 200 pilots wrote to Jet CEO Vinay Dube earlier on Friday, threatening to go on a “leave of absence” and take legal recourse if their salaries were not cleared.