Jet Airways unions defer strike plan

Fresh talks with management today

Published - April 14, 2019 11:34 pm IST - Mumbai

The strike has been put  off because of the talks  with the management.

The strike has been put off because of the talks with the management.

Jet Airways pilots, engineers and cabin crew unions are set to jointly meet the airline management on Monday in what they term as “another attempt to get the airline flying.”

On Sunday, as the midnight deadline set by the pilots union for clearing pending dues and sharing details of the revival plan drew closer, the pilots body, the National Aviators Guild (NAG) said it had ‘reviewed’ the earlier ‘unanimous decision’ of pilots to stop flying from April 15, if demands remained unachieved.

The NAG said the members requested that the strike be put off in view of the ‘critical meeting’ planned on Monday with the airline management and the State Bank of India (SBI). Therefore the “call of No Pay No Work stands deferred for the time being” to give the airline a chance of survival, it said.

NAG requested all pilots to gather at Siroya Centre at 10 a.m. on April 15 in full uniform.

Two NAG members said that since media reports indicated that the State Bank of India had sought an operational plan from the management, the pilots were hoping that once this was done some funds would be released.

Senior Jet Airways officials said that even if NAG members were to stop flying, the airline would be able to continue operating its 6 ATR turboprops using management pilots and the single Boeing 737 NG operating under JetLite, as its pilots are not NAG members. The airline on Sunday had these 7 aircraft in operation.

Jet Airways Aircraft Maintenance Engineers’ Association (JAMEWA) said that it had no plans of going on strike. “Since both NAG and our issues are common we will have representatives present at Monday’s gathering called by the pilots,” an engineer said.

The NAG cited a March 25 announcement in the media by the SBI, that an interim funding of ₹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 3 months,” a member said.

A pilot who confirmed his participation in Monday’s joint visit to the airline headquarters to seek answers said, “Everytime there has been a ray of hope, it seems to flicker and die out without anything fruitful transpiring. We want this airline to fly.”

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