Saturday, August 19, 2017

Jet Airways leaves 350 pilots high and dry, cuts salary citing lesser workload

New Delhi: On June 15, Jet Airwaysinformed about 350 pilots hired during the past one year about a salary cut due to 'fleet and network rationalisation' exercise at the company. They were among the 400 pilots recruited in batches of 200 to tide over a possible shortage.

"As you are well aware by now, aviation is a greatly exciting but dynamic industry. It requires its stakeholders to be flexible and take constant measure to ensure sustenance and longevity. Over the past few months, we have been intensely focused on fleet and network rationalisation, and working out cost efficiencies, while assuming a quality experience for our customers, internal and external. As part of this exercise, we have had to revisit our manpower requirements...," says the Jet letter to pilots about pay cuts with effect from August 1.

But the decision to slash salaries may have nothing to do with industry conditions or a change in Jet's financial performance. Airline officials believe that Jet overestimated the need for pilots and hired more than what was actually required.
"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 airline executive, who did not want to be identified, told ET. He said that another 200 were hired early this year taking the total pilots hired to 400. Jet Airways has a pilot strength of about 2,000.
19/08/17 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times