Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wings clipped, angry pilots stage overnight protest at airline office in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Naren Pillai (name changed), 32, is on the verge of selling his house to pay back a Rs 37 lakh loan he had taken from a bank to start a promising career in aviation. He claims he had been promised training and a job at FLYEasy, a low-cost airlines founded in 2014 to connect tier-II cities. Another pilot, 28-year-old Saahil More, says he has to travel from Mumbai to Bengaluru frequently to seek his refund.

On the night of September 13, four licenced pilots, who claimed to have paid the airlines, along with 34 others in 2015, held a protest at Shikha Developers’s office on MG Road, where FlyEasy shares office space . The airlines had to move out of their office space in Kempegowda International Airport. The pilots stayed overnight at the realty firm’s office on Wednesday, refusing to budge until the management talked to them in person.

Managing Director of FLYeasy, Rajesh Ebrahim, told Express the airlines did take that amount from the candidates but had paid 60 per cent of the employees despite the company’s financial crunch. “ About Rs 6 crore has already been used to pay the employees,” he said, adding that the company officials will meet the pilots on September 26. Bengaluru-based FLYeasy is part of ABC Aviation and Training Services. In 2015, 38 licenced pilots had been offered jobs with the airlines that was to start its operations that year. All the trainee pilots were asked to deposit a training fee of Rs 37 lakh within three days of selection. The students were split into four batches but only one batch received the training in Bahrain but those pilots claim that they were not given the certificate.
14/09/17 Regina Gurung/New Indian Express