Crisis deepens in Jet Airways
Mumbai/New Delhi: In more trouble for cash-strapped Jet Airways, an umbrella body of its domestic pilots Tuesday threatened to stop flying from April 1...
Mumbai/New Delhi: In more trouble for cash-strapped Jet Airways, an umbrella body of its domestic pilots Tuesday 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 a related development, the Jet Airways' Aircraft Maintenance Engineers' Union wrote to the DGCA on Tuesday morning saying they were not paid salaries for last three months and that their "adverse psychological" condition has put flight safety at risk.
However, they issued a clarification hours later saying Jet Airways aircraft are safe to fly and are being maintained at highest levels of safety standards. Terming the situation at the airline "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 119 aircraft in total.
For the past few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on social media as the airline's flight cancellations have increased. A senior official of DGCA said the regulator is reviewing the hike in airfare on specific routes across the country and it has advised airlines to increase flights so that the fares remain in check.
The DGCA held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the upward spiral in airfares owing to Jet continuing to ground more aircraft while cancelling a significant number of its flights. In a statement, Prabhu's office said he has also issued direction for safeguarding the public interest and giving "paramount importance" to ensure safety as well as convenience of passengers.