The joy of flying Jet Airways seems to be slowly fading as its financial woes refuse to die down. Amid reported crunch, the management of the carrier is said to have told its pilots that it may have to ground about 23 Boeing 737 aircraft to cut costs.
The issue was raised during a meeting with the National Aviators Guild (NAG), the pilot union of Jet, on October 9, attended by the carrier's CEO Vinay Dube, and chief people officer Rahul Taneja.
"The management suggested it is looking at grounding 23 Boeing 737s operating on domestic routes to mitigate losses," one of the senior pilots, who was at the meeting, told the Financial Express.
However, Jet Airways has denied the reports of 23 Boeing 737s being grounded, calling the information "factually incorrect" and "misleading."
"Jet Airways categorically denies your information which is factually incorrect and misleading. The airline also urges the publication to refrain from reporting speculative information being circulated via sources with malicious intent," a Jet Airways spokesperson told FE.
During the same meeting, the airline reportedly also delayed payments to its pilots and engineering staff, the deadline for which was October 9.
In a statement, the airline said that it has been facing tough times due to high fuel prices and depreciating rupee, but is dedicated toward compensating its employees.
"While the company has been diligent in running its payroll as per schedule for all employees, it is only in the last couple of months that the schedule has been impacted due to unavoidable reasons," the Economic Times quoted the airline as saying.
"Despite these challenges, the company has ensured that 85% of its employees are paid salaries on time while those of the leadership, pilots and engineers have been delayed."
It further added that Jet has successfully managed to overcome several issues in the past and will continue to do so in the future as well.
Earlier, the full-service airline had told its senior management, engineers and pilots that they would receive their salaries in two installments until November. In tune, the August salaries were also set to be paid in two installments – one by September 11 and another by September 26. While the first installment was paid on time, the second one had been delayed.