India’s Jet Airways flying just 7 planes amid investor talks

India’s Jet Airways flying just 7 planes amid investor talks

India's beleaguered Jet Airways was staring at a fresh crisis today as hundreds of pilots and other top staff threatened to go on strike over unpaid salaries.

Kharola told reporters that Jet Airways flew only 11 aircraft on Friday and will fly six to seven aircraft on both days this weekend on domestic routes.

The development came after the Indian government said it would investigate Jet's ability to continue flying as lenders seek a buyer to keep the airline running.

The airline needs to activate its 737 fleet fast as now there are 2-3 resignations taking place among the captains of ATR fleet.

Speaking on the issue, Senior Commander and Vice-President of Jet Airways' pilots body National Aviator's Guild, Asim Valiani said, "Pilots, engineers and managers haven't received salaries for the last 3 months, and salaries have been irregular for the last 7-8 months".

"Being a perishable business, an airline needs to get a substantial sum of money in one part so that it can manage its operations, even on a reduced state, properly". Consequently, many passengers were left stranded at the airports.

An SBI spokesman could not immediately comment on the emergency funding being considered by lenders for Jet Airways.

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Initial bids were to be submitted by the end of April 10, but SBI extended the deadline to April 12.

Following complaints by passengers of lack of information on cancellation and non-receipt of refunds, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had on Friday said that the Centre had asked Jet Airways to inform passengers 48 hours in advance about flight cancellations and take their problems into consideration. Jet Airways is now under the control of an SBI-led consortium of lenders.

The bidding norms allow Goyal to participate in the sale process.

Naresh Goyal, who founded the airline but quit as chairman last month, has also lodged a bid, as have some private equity groups, newspapers said. The airline's staff was last paid for December 2018.

Meanwhile, the crisis in Jet Airways has deepened as the airline could operate only 11 aircraft on Friday, leaving passengers stranded at various domestic and worldwide airports and prompting the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.

According to the NAG, it has also called upon other departments to join the gathering at the headquarters as a show of unity.

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