Friday, May 10, 2019

Carriers make beeline to recruit trained Jet pilots, attendants

Kolkata: Low-cost carrier AirAsia India conducted a recruitment drive for cabin crew in Kolkata on Tuesday. The human resource department of other carriers — IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara — have also been on the hunt for crew in the past couple of months, hoping to recruit Jet Airways’ trained cabin crew and pilots. Even foreign carrier Qatar Airways has held a walk in interview.
Airline industry veterans say the recruitment spree since Jet Airways suspended operations last month is the most frequent the city has witnessed in a long time. The uptake in recruitment is fuelled by the demand for pilots and flight attendants as other domestic carriers take over the planes that had to be grounded after Jet Airways suspended operations in April following its failure to secure liquidity to pay for essential services such as fuel. A number of aircraft were also previously grounded by lessors for non-payment.
While SpiceJet has already leased some of these planes, AirAsia India has also expressed interest in leasing some of the planes that Jet had operated to ramp up its fleet and widen the base. The latter has claimed to be able to fly Boeing B737 aircraft that comprised the mainstay of Jet Airways' domestic fleet. “Most low-cost airlines only operate one type of aircraft to reduce costs but Jet Airlines' collapse has offered other carriers the opportunity to expand their fleet. To operate these planes, the airlines need crew. Hence, the recruitment drives have been taken up,” said an airline HR official.
Of the 40 Jet Airways pilots in the city, only 10 have already left for other airlines. Similarly, of the 130-odd cabin crew stationed in the city, 50 have joined other carriers. Most of them have been desperate to earn money to pay EMIs for pilot training, home loans and other commitments. Jet Airways has not paid salary to pilots since January as well as to cabin crew members and other airline staff since March.
But many have also continued to stay put, hoping for Jet Airways' revival. A section of Jet Airways employees — Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots (SWIP) and Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association (JAMEWA) — wrote to SBI, the lead lender, to allow a consortium of employees and external investors to bid for management control of the airline.
10/05/19 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

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