Jet crisis: Govt wants last week`s fares
Centre has asked airlines to keep airfare at last week`s level after it shot up due to pilots` strike.
Mumbai: The Government on Thursday cracked the whip on airlines which had raised the airfares since Jet Airways pilots` went on strike.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation has written a letter to airlines for the same. Many low-cost air carriers had hiked fares by as much as 300 per cent owing to the passenger rush, as 264 domestic and 28 international flights of Jet Airways were cancelled across India.
Meanwhile, as striking Jet Airways pilots skipped the meeting with their management, leader of the pilots said they would have the talks on Friday.
"Reconciliation talks will take place tomorrow. I hope there is some
understanding," Naresh Kaushik said.
There was a meeting arranged by the Labour Ministry to reach a common ground between the pilots and Jet management, but the pilots did not attend.
The pilots have been quoted as saying that they were not informed about the meeting in advance. The meeting was to mediate by the Central labour commissioner.
Earlier in the day Jet Airways pilots` National Aviators Guild (NAG) said they will take a final decision on Thursday over the ongoing agitation, sources in the union said.
Over 400 pilots of the country`s largest private airline are on mass sick leave to demand re-instatement of two of their senior colleagues, sacked last month and have refused to disband their newly-created union.
The agitation has led to cancellation of over 200 Jet flights, including international ones.
Talks between the pilots and the management failed to resolve the crisis late Wednesday night and the deadlock continued. The striking pilots are demanding the re-instatement of their sacked colleagues.
More Flights Cancelled
Meanwhile, air travellers are facing a harrowing time as the airline cancelled over 200 flights.
The continued strike by the pilots, who were demanding revoking the sacking order of their colleagues, has forced the airline to cancel over 400 flights over two days.
As per the information posted on Jet’s website, the airline cancelled 21 international flights operating on South East Asia sector to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore on Thursday too.
The airlines services to Gulf countries, the US and Europe, to which flights were operated yesterday, were also badly affected. Jet has also cancelled its flight to Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait, US and Europe, airport sources said.
In Delhi, about 15 flights remained cancelled.
Naresh Goyal, who met Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel yesterday, had issued a veiled threat to hire foreign pilots to tide over the situation.
Asked if Jet Airways would think of recruiting foreign pilots, he said, "Yes ... we will request the government authorities. There are enough pilots available in the world."
He also threatened to take disciplinary action against pilots, if they did not follow the law of the land, follow discipline and if they were not bothered about even committing contempt of court. The airline, in fact, took disciplinary action against five more pilots.
Jet is also contemplating seeking DGCA approval for inducting some spare pilots of its wholly-owned subsidiary, JetLite, into its own fleet to tide over the situation.