Jet Airways pilots end strike, flights to resume immediately

All Set For Take-off: The five-day stalemate between Jet Airways and the agitating pilots ended on Saturday night after the airlines agreed to take back the pilots it had sacked.  

The five-day-old stir by Jet Airways pilots ended on Saturday night as the airline management and the agitators reached a settlement under, which the four sacked pilots would be reinstated and a consultative group made up of the two sides formed to resolve all issues.

The breakthrough in the impasse between the pilots, who had begun their agitation on Tuesday protesting the sacking of their colleagues, came after a marathon meeting here lasting more than ten hours.

Jet Airways Executive Director Saroj Dutta said flight operations of the airline on international routes would resume immediately while the domestic services would normalise by noon on Sunday.

Announcing the settlement at a news conference, the pilots’ union National Aviators Guild leader Sam Thomas, flanked by Jet Airways Executive Director Saroj Dutta and NAG President Girish Kaushik, said it has been agreed that the four sacked pilots would be reinstated with immediate effect.

A consultative group would be set up comprising the Jet CEO Hafiz Ali, two directors of the airlines, two representatives of flight operations and five pilots to continue the process of dialogue on all outstanding issues as well those which will come up.

Asked about losses suffered by the airline during the five days of the agitation, Dutta no estimates have been done as yet. However, Jet’s daily revenue of eight million dollars “had dropped dramatically” and the number of passengers came down from 23,000 per day to 7,500.

On the contentious issue of the pilots’ right to form a union, Kaushik said in reply to a question that there was no question of dissolving the NAG, which is already a registered body.

The Registrar of Trade Unions is reviewing the NAG’s registration and if the decision goes against the pilots, they would not pursue it.

“If there is discrepancy, it is left to the Registrar or the law of the land”, Kaushik said and Thomas added “we will not pursue the matter afresh.”

The problems between the two sides would be resolve through the consultative group while the Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots, formed about a decade ago, would address the welfare issues, the two NAG leaders said.

While all the four dismissed pilots would be taken back, no punitive action against any one who participated in the agitation.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 10:08:08 PM |

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