MUMBAI: In a last-ditch effort to stop a section of its pilots and aircraft maintenance engineer from going on mass leave from April 1, Jet Airways on Saturday assured to soon pay the December salaries to employees.
The beleagured airline, however, said that it will be not be able to pay more recent overdue wages to its employees. Jet Airways Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube said in an email to employee, "You also have our commitment that the Board of Directors and the management team are working as fast as possible to implement the resolution plan agreed with the consortium of Indian lenders to quickly restore the much-needed stability to our operations and build a sustainable future for the airline."
"These are complex processes and it has taken longer than we had expected and as such we are only able to remit your remaining salary for December 2018. We realise that this remittance does not lift the financial hardship that each of you are facing and we do not take your sacrifices for granted," he added.
Dube further said: "We continue to work on additional funding on an urgent basis and shall advise you about the release of the remaining salary arrears as the funds come in."
The call to go on a mass leave was given by members belonging to the pilots' union of cash-stapped Jet Airways. The employees had decided to not operate if the company fails to clear their dues and not provide clarity on financial resolution plan by March 31.
Sources said that it is likely that mainy pilots who are members of this group may not join duty from April 1 if Jey Airways fails to provide them proper information on its resolution plan.
Jet Airwars, however, stressed that its operations will not be affected. "Operations on Monday are unlikely to be impacted," an official said.
Talking to IANS, a senior pilot said that they need direct assurance from the new management, which is headed by State Bank of India.
"The assurance should be about the date on which our dues will be paid and clarity regarding the future of the airline. If such an assurance is given, we might rethink the issue of mass leave," the pilot said.
It is to be noted that pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers have not been paid for the last four months. On Monday, a consortium of banks, led by the SBI, had announced to put in extra cash into the ailing airline.
A senior National Aviator`s Guild member told IANS in Mumbai: "If such an assurance is given, then the committee (guild) will ask pilots to take a call -- it will depend on what the majority wants."
(with IANS inputs)