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Jet employees march to aviation ministry’s doorstep

PW Bureau

A Jet employee said that the consortium of the airline’s lenders should speed up the stake sale process because there have been significant delays already

New Delhi: On Tuesday, employees from various departments of beleaguered Jet Airways took out a march outside Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan that houses the Ministry of Civil Aviation, hoping that the government would take note of their situation and step in to save the airline and protect their jobs. According to a Jet employee, the staff strength of the airline has come down by half in over one month.

Employees planning to meet Aviation Secretary

“Now that elections are over we hope that government would take necessary steps to revive Jet Airways. We will try to meet Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola and understand what government could do to protect our jobs,” said a protesting employee.

Another employee said that the consortium of Jet’s lenders should speed up the stake sale process because there have been significant delays already.

The backdrop

Even as the lenders look for suitable investment proposals, most of the airline’s top executives, including its CEO, CFO and Company Secretary, have jumped ship. Currently, the airline only has two directors on board. Shortly after the airline’s whole-time director Gaurang Shetty had resigned from his post, Etihad nominee on the board Robin Kamark also resigned on May 16.

As things stand today, Etihad Airways is the only solicited bidder that Jet has. Etihad has, however, clarified that it will only infuse so much equity as would be required to maintain the 24 percent stake it holds in the airline.