Even as the stand-off between the Jet Airways management and the agitating pilots' union continued for the fifth day, there was a glimmer of hope after a two-hour meeting between them here on Saturday.
“We are trying our best to come to an amicable agreement,” National Aviators Guild president Girish Kaushik told the media later. However, the bone of contention remains the formation of the NAG, which has also been insisting on reinstatement of four sacked pilots.
According to Mr. Kaushik, Jet Airways executive director Saroj Dutta spoke to NAG representatives and presented some proposals which were to be discussed among the pilots. Jet was willing to take back the sacked colleagues if all pilots resumed duties.
Mr. Kaushik indicated that the pilots were ready to resume immediately if an agreement was put in place. “I sincerely hope the problem can be solved. Mr. Dutta was not suggesting dissolving or eliminating the NAG. He felt that if we had the guild, there are certain disadvantages the company may have.
''Mr. Kaushik said the NAG members were clear that they would not give up the guild, the formation of which was their fundamental and constitutional right. “I met all members of the guild yesterday [Friday] and all of them from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore were unanimously for the guild.” Both sides were working on an agreement that would be acceptable to them.
281 flights cancelled
On Saturday, the airline cancelled 281 flights, 21 of them international.