Amid mounting uncertainty over its future, the troubled Jet Airways has already surrendered the 18 slots that it used to operate from the Pune airport. Nearly 150 employees that the airlines has in Pune are reported to have not received their salaries for the last one or two months, just like their colleagues elsewhere.
Pune International Airport officials said that Jet Airways was operating 18 flights out of the city before the crisis set in, all of which have been suspended. “Because these slots were lying vacant, a time-frame was given to Jet to resume these flights. As the company failed to do so, these slots have now been allocated to other airlines, like Indigo and Spicejet. These re-allocated slots will be put to use by these airlines by the last week of April,” the official said.
“If Jet wants to operate all, or some of these slots again, it will have to make a fresh application. But allocation would only be subject to availability,” added the official.
The airline also operated two international flights from Pune, one to Abu Dhabi and another to Singapore which had been started late last year, only to be suspended last month.
As a result of the suspension of operations by Jet, the total number of daily flights being operated from Pune airport has come down from 160 to 142.
Jet Airlines, which has a debt of over US$ 1 billion and has been unable to convince lenders to provide emergency funds to keep it afloat, has shut down most of its operations across the country. “More than 55 operations across India, including some international routes, have already been suspended. In Pune, till the last few days, the Jet flight to Indore was operating but it too has been suspended now,” said a Jet Airways employee.
The employee, who asked not to be named, said like colleagues in other parts of the country, the staff based in Pune had also not been paid, some of them for two months now. “In Mumbai, a protest was organised recently and the employees had put forward their demands. We, in Pune, have similar demands,” he said.
“It need not be said that such non-payment of salaries badly affects the routine cycles of the EMIs and other payments one has to make. This certainly affects our mental state and overall performance,” he said.