Mumbai/New Delhi, March 19
In fresh trouble for cash-strapped Jet Airways, an umbrella body of its domestic pilots today threatened to stop flying from April 1 if their dues are not paid by March-end even as aviation regulator DGCA said only 41 aircraft of the airline were in operation.
As situation at the beleaguered airline deteriorated, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu directed senior officials of his ministry to continuously monitor developments relating to the crisis.
In the morning, the Jet Airways’ Aircraft Maintenance Engineers’ Union wrote to the DGCA saying they were not paid salaries for the past three months and that their “adverse psychological” condition has put flight safety at risk.
However, hours later they clarified saying Jet Airways aircraft were safe to fly and were being maintained at highest levels of safety standards.
Terming the situation “dynamic”, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said only 41 aircraft of the Jet Airways were currently available for operation and there may be “further attrition” of flights “in coming weeks”.
As per the website of Jet Airways, it has a fleet of 123 aircraft. For the past few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on the social media as the airline’s flight cancellations have increased.
A senior DGCA official said the regulator was reviewing the hike in airfare on specific routes across the country and had advised airlines to increase flights so that the fares remained in check.
In Mumbai, the National Aviators Guild, a body representing 1,000 pilots of the airline, warned the Jet management that they would stop flying from April 1 if their pending salaries are not paid by March 31. — PTI
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