Struggling private carrier Jet Airways has expressed inability to clear salary dues of its pilots, saying it could pay only the balance 87.50 per cent of December pay, amid the looming threat of halting of operations from April 1. Meanwhile, the airline's pilots body, the National Aviators Guild (NAG), has called an open house' of its members in New Delhi and Mumbai Sunday.
The pilots, who along with engineers and senior staff have not been paid for almost four months now, have said they will not fly from April if dues were not cleared and a roadmap on future payment was not provided by March 31.
"The board of directors and the management team are working as fast as possible to implement the resolution plan agreed with the consortium of Indian lenders to quickly restore the much-needed stability to our operations and build a sustainable future for the airline. These are complex processes and it has taken longer than we had expected and as such we are only able to remit your remaining salary for December 2018," Jet Airways chief executive officer Vinay Dube said in a communication to pilots Saturday.
Last week, SBI-led consortium of lenders became the owner of Jet Airways after its founder-chairman Naresh Goyal along with his wife Anita stepped down from the board under a debt-rejig plan. Goyal also quit the chairman's post.
In the last few months the airline has witnessed exceedingly challenging times in the organisation, Dube said, adding, "We understand the hardship, anxiety and uncertainty which each of you have endured.
"We realise that this remittance does not lift the financial hardship that each of you are facing... we continue to work on additional funding on an urgent basis and shall advise you about the release of the remaining salary arrears as the funds come in," he added.
With just one-fourth of operational fleet, Jet suspends services to 13 international routes till end-April
Earlier Friday, around 200 pilots had written individually to the Jet CEO, threatening to go on "leave of absence".
A source in the pilots' community said around 200 pilots had written to the CEO flagging concerns about non-payment of salaries.