Around the same time on Monday, the airline’s pilots and other employees will gather at Jet’s Mumbai headquarters to decide the future course of action.
On Sunday evening, sources said that members of the pilot union, National Aviators’ Guild (NAG), may not fly from 10am on Monday. However, with Jet Airways operating just five ATR planes and a Boeing 737 for some domestic flights, the strike call has no real impact for the airline which till last November had a fleet of 124 aircraft — wide, narrow body and turboprop ATRs — that required over 1,500 pilots. About 1,100 of Jet’s 1,500 Indian pilots are members of the NAG.
The pilots are divided on the issue of going on a strike as there are hardly any flights left to operate.
“On March 25, SBI said interim funding of Rs 1,500 crore will be made to keep Jet Airways operational. Till date, we are awaiting the funding and, meanwhile, our beloved airline is dying a slow death along with unpaid salaries of pilots and engineers for over three months. It is time to seek some answers, to humbly ask those who have the power to help us what the future may hold. Hence, we request all pilots to gather at Siroya Centre (Jet’s Mumbai HQ) on Monday at 10am in full uniform ... collective decision taken by all pilots in the Mumbai and Delhi Open Houses shall prevail,” NAG said in a communique to members.
While January and February salaries have not been paid to the pilots, aircraft engineers and senior management, March pay has not been given to any of Jet’s 16,000 employees.