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Wage negotiations still on with employees: Jet Airways

Last Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 21:14

Mumbai: Jet Airways, which recently faced labour unrest from a section of its technicians on wage issues, today said it was in discussion with the employees for wage revision.

"We are still in negotiations with the employees. We have not completed that (exercise) but hope to get it completed shortly," company's Vice-president for Commercial Strategy and Investor Relations K G Vishwanath said at a post-earnings conference call.

Vishwanath's assertion comes a day ahead of the airline management inviting its pilots for a meet on the issue.

The airline is in the final stages of sealing a stake sale deal with the Gulf carrier Etihad Airways.

The pilots have long been demanding wage hike besides payment of arrears running into crores of rupees, pending since 2011.

The airline had recently given hike of up to Rs 18,000 per month to a section of its ground staff.

On attrition, Vishwanath said the airline has seen exodus of 1,139 employees year-on-year till the December quarter, mainly from cabin crew and ground handling, adding, "these segments traditionally have higher attrition rate."

Stating that the current quarter has seen some "robust bookings" mainly on the international sectors, Chief Commercial Officer Sudheer Raghavan said, "we are comfortable what they (the bookings) are today."

"On the domestic routes, we are now into the traditionally weaker quarter. However, we don't see any room for concern at this stage," he said.

Jet will be receiving back all its wide-body 777 planes, which are on lease currently, Vishwanath said.
"But we have not yet decided whether we should operate them or put on lease again," he said.

On the debt repayment plan, Vishwanath said the airline will retire USD 400 million of debt in the next financial year while it had already repaid around USD 400 million this year.

The airline's total debt stood at USD 2.16 billion as of December against USD 2.6 billion as of March last year.

The Naresh Goyal-owned domestic private carrier last Friday reported a net profit of Rs 85 crore for the quarter ended December against a net loss of Rs 101.22 crore in the year ago quarter.

Meanwhile, the airline in a statement said it has signed a global maintenance agreement with the European turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR worth USD48 million.

This new agreement extends the existing pact by another seven years and covers the supply of spare parts and maintenance services for its fleet of ATRs.

Jet Airways, including its low-cost subsidiary Jet Konnect, currently operates 16 ATR 72-500 and one ATR 72-600s, and will add four more ATR 72-600s into its fleet, thus becoming the first domestic operator to have these new series aircraft.


First Published: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 21:14
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