Jet Airways, which grew slower than the industry last year, has approached many junior pilots proposing to effectively reduce their salaries by 30 per cent, in an effort to enhance internal efficiencies and rationalise the utilisation of its fleet. In 2016, the domestic aviation market witnessed a growth of 23.18 per cent in terms of passengers carried, and against this Jet Airways and Jet Lite grew by only a little over 4 per cent, according to DGCA data.
“Jet Airways continues to remain committed to all its employees which include crew members and trainees, who are essentially a part of the Jet family. However, certain developments in the market, including that of the Gulf region, as well as our continued efforts to enhance internal efficiencies, has resulted in the review of our network, fleet and crew utilisation. Consequently, as a proactive measure, the company has made interim alignments to its crew work patterns, which will be reviewed in future, in line with network growth,” a Jet Airways spokesperson said.
Jet Airways, which carries the second highest number of passengers on domestic routes, also saw its market share falling in 2016 to 16.3 per cent, against 19.2 per cent in 2015. As of quarter-ended June, its market share had receded to 15.2 per cent. As per a Reuters report, the airline wrote a letter to a first officer, asking the pilot to take 10 days off each month “with the appropriate remuneration”, which results in a 30 per cent pay cut as an ‘interim measure’ to help the company balance its cost structure. The report, quoting unnamed sources, also states that such letters were mainly sent to junior pilots, who joined the airline in the last 12-18 months.