Jet Airways grounds 15 more aircrafts, left with only 30 flying planes
New Delhi : Crisis-ridden Jet Airways has grounded 15 more airplanes. On Tuesday, the airlines told DGCA , which is monitoring the situation on a daily basis, that it was flying only 28 planes. Then late on Tuesday, it informed the BSE about the grounding of 15 more planes.
After the latest grounding of air planes, an airline spokesman said Jet was flying "about 30" planes. The situation is worsening due to delay in infusion of emergency funds.
The airlines, which was once flying 128 air planes, has asked it Boeing 737 pilots that they can take “long break/sabbatical” without pay up to September. The move comes after Jet sent all its expensive expat pilots on furloughs, or long leaves, without pay last week.
The pilots, on the other hand, have written to government requesting to pay their salaries for January, February and March with interest.
Expat pilots cost nearly twice as much as their Indian counterparts as they have to be given accommodation and flight tickets to their home country every few weeks. Since Jet is now operating 35 of its once-upon-a-time fleet of 124 planes, the lender-led management has begun cutting this extra cost.
“We have received requests for extended time off due to changes in operational requirement including leave without pay from some pilots,” says a communique from Jet to its B737 pilots titled “intent — invite requests for leave without pay.”
“Due to changes in operational requirement, Boeing 737 flight crew will be assigned on a 5 day working and 3 day OFF roster from April 11 to April 26, 2019. Additionally, flight crew seeking a long break/sabbatical between April-September, 2019, may put in their requests to the fleet office for approval,” it says.
Jet is yet to pay salary of January, February and March to pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers (AME) and senior management team. The pilots and AMEs had threatened to strike work from April 1. When the airline promised to clear their 87.5% salary that is due of last December, they decided to defer the strike call up to mid-April. The pilots say if Jet does not clear “substantial” part of their dues and give a clear roadmap for paying the remaining, they may strike work from April 15.