A delegation of Jet Airways employees met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday to seek an expedited bidding process to revive the struggling airline, PTI reported. The delegation, led by Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube, also sought help in paying the staff salaries for at least one month to give them hope.
“To keep them [employees] where they are and to give them hope we need to pay them at least a month’s salary or more,” Dube told reporters after the meeting in New Delhi. “The finance minister has assured us to look into that.”
The delegation comprised the airline’s Chief Financial Officer Amit Agarwal and representatives of staff unions of pilots, engineers, cabin crew and ground staff. Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola also accompanied the group.
The airline had not paid salaries to its 23,000 employees for March, and employees claim some of them have not been paid for seven months, and some since January. The company needs around Rs 170 crore to clear at least one month’s salaries, said Dube.
Dube said that he requested Jaitley to ensure an “open, transparent and efficient” bidding process for the airline. “He assured us of that and also told us that as part of the expression of interest, there were four parties that were interested in Jet Airways,” Dube said, according to ANI.
Meanwhile, the airline’s employees wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday to seek their intervention to recover outstanding dues and to expedite the process of getting emergency funding, PTI reported. The letters were written by the Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots and Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association.
“We request you to consider the situation with the urgency it deserves and direct the management of Jet Airways (India) Ltd to expeditiously disburse all outstanding dues to affected employees,” one of the letters said. “We also urge you to expedite the process of emergency funding, as every minute and every decision is very critical in these testing times.”