Saturday, August 19, 2017

Is this the real reason Jet Airways asked its pilots to take a salary cut?

India's second largest carrier Jet Airways was in the news last month for asking its junior pilots to either take a 30 percent pay cut or leave. While the airline had then said that the step was a part of the brand's cost cutting plans and was also affected by certain market developments, the reason now seems to be something else.

Airline officials have now said that the move may have been a result of Jet Airways overestimating their pilot requirement and hiring more than necessary.

"The estimation went way off the mark due to wrong calculation by the rostering department. The management did not want to take chances as pilot shortage would have hampered operations and immediately decided to hire 200 first officers for ATR and Boeing 737 aircraft," a senior official told the Economic Times on condition of anonymity.
Jet Airways is said to have hired about 400 pilots, even though it may not have required so many of them. The discrepancy was noticed after the firm introduced a crew resources department and it then decided to slash the salaries of the pilots. While some believe that this was Jet's way of making sure that they do not fall short of trained staff at any time, Shakti Lumba, former operations head of Air India and IndiGo called it "bad planning."
"This is a clear case of bad operational planning, but the airline should have found a mechanism to keep these trained pilots with them as it could have used them in the future. India's aviation is growing and airlines may need pilots for their future expansion and it is short-sighted to let these pilots go," he told the daily.

In July, Jet Airways had asked its junior pilots who joined the brand in 2016, to take a 30 percent pay cut or leave. The airline is said to have made a few changes to the pilots' contracts and it will now be mandatory for them to take 10 days of leave in a month apart from their weekly offs, which in turn will result in a 30 percent reduction in their salaries. The pilots had been given until the end of the month to take a decision.
19/08/17 Vanilla Sharma/IBTimes