Jet pilots' stir continues, over 230 flights cancelled

Jet pilots' stir continues, over 230 flights cancelled

Jet pilots' stir continues, over 230 flights cancelled

A passenger makes an inquiry at a deserted Jet Airways counter at the airport in Calcutta on Tuesday. AP

Pilots have indicated that they would continue their agitation against sacking of two of their colleagues after no headway was made in the discussions between the two sides till late last night with the protestors also insisting that their trade union rights cannot be curtailed.

The stalemate continued despite five hours of talks between members of the National Aviators Guild (NAG), which is spearheading the stir, and the management through an interlocutor in Delhi. The company does not recognise NAG and has termed the agitation as illegal.

"We have cancelled 197 domestic and 37 international flights today," Jet Airways General Manager (Flight Operations), E Sainath said in Mumbai.

The two parties are likely to meet the Labour Commissioner in Mumbai where a case relating to sacking of the two senior pilots is pending.

Guild's Joint General Secretary and one of the sacked Jet pilots Capt Sam Thomas told PTI here that "The deadlock continues. There is nothing to say. No one has approached us for talks."

Capt Thomas claimed that overall 500 pilots have reported sick.

Jet cancelled international flights on South East Asia sector to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. Its services to Gulf countries, the US and Europe, to which flights were operated yesterday, were also badly affected. Jet has also cancelled its flight to Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait, US and Europe.

Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal had yesterday given a veiled warning to the agitators that the company could hire foreign pilots to tide over the situation.

Asked if Jet Airways would think of recruiting foreign pilots, he had said, "Yes ... we will request the government authorities. There are enough pilots available in the world."
He had also threatened disciplinary action against pilots, if they did not follow the law of the land.

Jet is contemplating seeking DGCA approval for inducting some spare pilots of its wholly-owned subsidiary, JetLite, into its own fleet to tide over the situation.

A Jet Airways spokesperson today said, "Due to continued pilot agitation, disruptions are expected on the Jet Airways network and consequently, certain flights have been cancelled. On disrupted flights, guests will get full refund or they can reissue/rebook flights without any penalty," a Jet Airways spokesperson said.

Jet Airways is making alternative arrangements on other airlines wherever possible and the airport teams of the airlines will assist its guests to the fullest extent, she said.
The airlines has also tried to accommodate its passengers in its low-cost arm Jetlite.The airlines management has combined 12 Jet flights with JetLite.

To deal with the situation, the airlines has set up a crisis management centre which is continuously monitoring the situation.

At the crisis centre, a team of 15 personnel from planning, revenue management and public relations is working round-the-clock to reschedule various flights and monitor the situation, the airline said.

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