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Jet Airways crisis worsens, pilots threaten to stop flying from April 1

More Than 200 Pilots Marched To Jet Airways' Headquarters After The Meeting, Which Was Held At A Nearby Hotel.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 20 Mar 2019, 12:21:39 AM
The decision was taken at the annual meeting of the NAG here that went on for more than 90 minutes.

New Delhi:

The National Aviator's Guild (NAG), an umbrella body of domestic pilots of crisis-hit Jet Airways, on Tuesday threatened to stop flying from April 1 unless there is clarity on the resolution process and salary dues by end of March. The NAG also expressed hope that a resolution plan would be reached by month-end. The guild, which came into being almost a decade ago, represents around 1,000 domestic pilots.

"If there is no proper clarity on the resolution process and salary payments, by March 31, we will stop flying from April 1," the guild said in a statement.

The decision was taken at the annual meeting of the NAG here that went on for more than 90 minutes.

More than 200 pilots marched to Jet Airways' headquarters after the meeting, which was held at a nearby hotel.

As the situation worsens the aviation regulator DGCA said it was 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 as Jet Airways continues to ground its aircraft and cancel a significant number of flights.

The cash-strapped airline on Monday said it had grounded four more planes, taking the number of aircraft that were non-operational due to non-payment of lease rentals to 41. "We have not issued any diktat to the airlines. We have just advised them that they should increase their capacity to keep airfares in check," the senior DGCA official told PTI.

He added that the regulator is currently "reviewing hike in airfare on specific routes".

He said the airlines have stated that they will keep airfares under control that have increased due to various domestic factors. As per the Jet Airways' website, it has a fleet of 119 aircraft in total. Earlier in the day, the DGCA issued a statement saying that only 41 aircraft of cash-strapped airline are currently available for operation.

Talking about Jet Airways' situation, the DGCA statement said there may be "further attrition" of flights "in coming weeks" as, it observed, the situation as "dynamic".

For the past few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on social media as the airline's flight cancellations have increased gradually due to the rising number of grounded aircraft.

Moreover, after the DGCA grounded all 12 of SpiceJet's 737 Max aircraft on March 13 following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed 157 people, the problem of rising airfares in Indian market has aggravated.

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First Published : 19 Mar 2019, 10:36:50 PM