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From home loans to school fees, Jet Airways employees worry for their jobs

A Mumbai Central resident earns Rs 35,000 monthly by lifting cargo. His March salary remains pending, and there are four stomachs to feed.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published: April 19, 2019 2:21:56 am
From home loans to school fees, Jet Airways employees worry for their jobs On Wednesday, Jet Airways, once India’s largest private airline, 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. (Reuters)

THE BIGGEST worry of several employees after Jet Airways shut its operations was monthly loan repayments and household expenses. On Wednesday, Ganesh, a cargo loader woke up at 5.30 am to report to work at 7 am at the airport. By evening, he was informed that the airline was suspending its operations. On Thursday, he reported back to work.

“I don’t know where else to go. I will sit here all day even if there is no work,” Ganesh said. He recently took a personal loan and is worried about his EMI. In June, new academic sessions of his son and daughter will start. “She is in school and he is doing BMS. Where will I get money for the college?” he asked.

Read| If political parties don’t care about our jobs, why should we even vote, ask Jet Airways employees

The Mumbai Central resident earns Rs 35,000 monthly by lifting cargo. His March salary remains pending, and there are four stomachs to feed. Like him, ground operations manager Sushma Shetty has to pay Rs 62,000 monthly EMI for a new home she had purchased in January with her husband Pushkar, also a Jet cabin crew member. “My cheque bounced this month. I have asked my sister to help,” she said.

Shetty had been with Jet Airways for 11 years. “We knew something was wrong with the company when the first plane was grounded. But the management never told us they anticipated a complete shutdown. At this stage, it is difficult to find a job in other airlines in the same pay scale,” she said.

Rashmi Patil, also involved in ground operations, said beyond 30, for employees like her, job prospects dwindle in the aviation industry.

Jet customer service executive Ahmed Munde runs house expenses for a family of five. “I bought a new air-conditioner recently,” he smiled, then looking at his colleagues, said, “I can still manage my EMIs. May be I’ll lose the AC. But several here have medical expenses to take care of and personal loans.”

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