A body representing pilots of Jet Airways on Monday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save jobs at the airline and urged the State Bank of India to infuse the struggling carrier with Rs 1,500 crore as part of a rescue deal that was agreed upon last month, PTI reported.
“We would like to appeal SBI to release Rs 1,500 crore funds for the airline to help it continue operations,” National Aviator’s Guild Vice-President Adim Valiani told reporters in Mumbai. “We also appeal Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save 20,000 odd jobs at the airline.” Though the government had promised to intervene, “we have not seen the money yet”, ANI quoted Valiani as saying.
The debt-ridden airline is operating only six to seven planes at present. Its entire fleet has been grounded after it defaulted on payments to banks, pilots and suppliers. According to Hindustan Times, Jet Airways has suspended operations to South and Southeast Asia and extended the suspension of services to Toronto and Paris from Chennai and back.
Earlier in the day, the airline’s pilots, engineers and cabin crew members held a demonstration at the airline’s headquarters in Mumbai. “Pilots, engineers and managers have not received salaries for the last three months, and salaries have been irregular for the last seven to eight months,” said Valiani.
More than 1,100 of the carrier’s pilots had threatened to stop flying from Monday because of non payment of salaries but deferred the decision in view of a meeting between the airline management and the State Bank of India. On Saturday, several employees of the airline participated in a strike outside Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.