Sunday, April 18, 2021

Over 3,600 staffers on Jet Airways pay roll, await govt support

Mumbai: Two years ago, in the small hours on this very day, Jet Airways flight from Amritsar had landed in Mumbai airport, the last flight before the 25-year old airline suspended operations leaving over 22,000 employees, including about 15,500 permanent staff jobless. Today, 3681 continue to remain on Jet Airway’s pay roll. They don’t draw salaries. They stayed back for different reasons, one of them being hope, that the airline will revive one day, that is.

Exactly six months ago, on October 17 last year, that hope shined bright when Jet’s committee of creditors approved the revival plan submitted by a consortium of UK-headquartered Kalrock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan. The consortium proposed to invest Rs 600 crore to repay creditors and acquire about 90 % stake in the carrier. Till February, the mood was upbeat, the airline would begin operations in 4 to 6 months, it was said.

Then in March the ministry of civil aviation submitted before the bankruptcy court its unwillingness to hand over Jet Airways airport time slots for arrival/departure to the new entity. Jet Airways had about 700 time slots that allowed it to land/depart from congested airports like Mumbai, Delhi. These slots, one of the major assets of Jet Airways, were temporarily reallocated to other airlines after Jet suspended operations. The ministry said that Jet will need to apply afresh for these slots and the airline may or may not be granted those slots. Currently, the matter is under discussion by both parties. ``We need the support and co-operation of the government of India, especially on Jet’s historical slots if the airline has to fly again and create jobs in this environment,’’ said an airline source, requesting anonymity.

18/04/21 Manju V/Times of India

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