Days after Jet Airways announced a temporary suspension of flight operations, budget carrier SpiceJet, in a statement, said that they are giving first preference to those who lost their jobs because of the carrier’s closure. The airline said it has already absorbed over 500 employees, including 100 pilots, of the grounded carrier Jet Airways and it is open to inducting more as it adds more aircraft and routes in the times ahead.
SpiceJet also claimed that it will induct 27 more planes – 22 Boeing 737s and five turboprop Bombardier Q400s – in their fleet to minimise the passenger inconvenience and serve its customers.
SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh in the statement, released on Friday, said, “As we expand and grow, we are giving first preference to those who have recently lost their jobs due to the unfortunate closure of Jet Airways. We have already provided jobs to more than 100 pilots, more than 200 cabin crew and more than 200 technical and airport staff.”
“We will do more. We will also induct a large number of planes in our fleet soon. SpiceJet is making all possible efforts to minimise passenger inconvenience and serve Indian customers who are finding it difficult to get seats in this busy season,” the budget carrier’s statement added.
The carrier Thursday announced the launch of 24 new flights connecting Mumbai and Delhi with 16 services connecting Mumbai and four Delhi while the remaining four connecting the two metros. These flights are set to be rolled out between April 26 and May 2, reported news agency PTI.
On Thursday, Air India also announced that it will provide special fares to the passengers of Jet flights with confirmed return tickets till April 28, 2019, on 19 international routes.
Air India also said that they had almost completed hiring 150 cabin crew members of Jet Airways.
In a letter written to SBI chairman Rajesh Kumar on Wednesday, Air India chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said, “We, at Air India, are indeed saddened by the turn of affairs at Jet Airways, a scenario that is causing considerable inconvenience to the travelling public. In tune with Air India’s role and responsibilities as the national carrier, we would be happy to alleviate this inconvenience by considering the possibility of operating a few B777 aircraft, on their established routes that…stand suspended at present.”
On the other hand, bank unions on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take over the grounded company to secure the future of the employees.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the All-India Bank Employees Association also said that the centre must ensure that no bank is forced to lend to the grounded airline.
“We learn that banks have invited bids to possible investors to take over the airline. If it does not happen, we urge you to take over the airline so that the jobs of these 22,000 employees are safe. Everyone is looking at the banks to bail out the airline as though lenders are the owners. Naresh Goyal is still the promoter and major shareholder with 51 per cent stake and it is his headache to run the company or sell it to someone. We seek the immediate intervention of the government so that banks are not pressurised to dole out more money,” the letter read.
On Wednesday, Jet Airways decided to temporarily suspend operations as a consortium of lenders refused to consider extending emergency funding of Rs 983 crore to keep the airline flying.
Jet has offered to offload between 32.1 per cent to 75 per cent stake to an eligible investor after evaluating all bids.
Till now, the lenders have received an expression of interest (EoI) from four-five parties. The process is expected to conclude by May 10.