Cash-strapped Jet Airways‘ chief executive officer, Vinay Dube, told the airline’s staff that its group of lenders are unable to make any salary commitments until the bidding process is complete. The letter from Mr Dube comes at a time the airline owes money to its lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies. Earlier this month, debt-laden Jet Airways announced indefinite suspension all its flight operations after the ailing airline failed to secure an interim funding from its lenders. The airline is struggling with a debt of more than $1.2 billion
Your leadership team has spent the last few days trying to convince the consortium of Indian banks (led by State Bank of India) to release some funds for our employees, while continuing to support the bank led bid process for Jet Airways. We have told them repeatedly that our employees are facing grave hardships owing to non-payment of their salaries and that if this were to continue any longer, our employees will have no option but to find employment elsewhere. Unfortunately, the banks have said that they are unable to make any salary commitments, if at all, until after the bidding process is complete. We face this reality despite our best efforts to portray the very real suffering that is being endured by each one of you.
While on the one hand, we are being told to preserve the value of Jet Airways during the bid process, on the other hand, with no salary payment, some of our colleagues, who are the very fabric and value of this airline, have no choice but to find employment elsewhere. When we highlight the disappointing irony of this situation to the lenders, we are simply told that this problem is to be addressed by the Company’s shareholders, who should and could have agreed on a Resolution Plan a long time ago.
Separately, there have been considerable deliberations in the various Board meetings regarding the availability of emergency funding from the Promoter and Strategic Shareholder for payment of salary arrears, with no favourable outcome. We have, as a unified Jet Airways team, also approached the Government at the highest levels to seek intervention and assistance in our situation and that too has not yielded positive results thus far.
While we will continue to support the Lender led bid process in our effort to leave no stone unturned, it pains us to communicate that no clarity or commitment on salaries has been provided by any of our stakeholders.