Jet Turbulence: IndiGo poaches over 100 pilots

Jet Turbulence: IndiGo poaches over 100 pilots

The airline has lost ground in terms of market shares, even as its pilots and crew are said to be approaching other airlines for employment.

Speaking to Xinhua over the phone, Vice-President of the "National Aviator's Guild" (NAG) Captain Asim Valiani said that there are around 1,500 pilots and almost 400 engineers who have been affected due to non-payment of salaries for over three months now.

A New Delhi-based pilot of the airline, who has already applied to other airlines for recruitment, said his financial position has become untenable since his children's quarterly school fees are due in April.

On Friday, pilots of Jet Airways urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to instruct the management to release their pending salaries.

"Stress in this section of employees can easily compromise safety and is not at all desirable in a profession that demands the highest levels of alertness and safety", it added.

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On Wednesday, NAG members held a meeting in the national capital wherein they endorsed Tuesday's decision to stop flying from April 1.

There might be further changes to this schedule and more flights can be pulled out. Since it operates a fleet of 25 Boeing 737- 800 NG aircraft like SpiceJet, an Operators Conversion Course would get the pilots airborne within a fortnight of joining.

In a stock exchange filing on Saturday, Jet said it grounded an additional seven aircraft taking the total number to 54 out of its 119-strong fleet. They said about 50 planes were on offer and negotiations were on for the deal. "It will make enormous sense to find an operator in India for these grounded planes than taking them elsewhere", said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The company said that as mentioned earlier, it is actively engaged with all its aircraft lessors and is regularly providing them with updates on the efforts taken to improve the liquidity. SBI is the lead lender of the consortium of bankers which have lent to Jet Airways. "If the debtor is unable to pay, they should be placed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and whatever assets they have should be sold and the debt recovered".

It could be the end of the road for Naresh Goyal, the chairman and founder of the struggling Jet Airways.

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