Jet Airways’ Employees Protest Over Pay Delay

NEW DELHI — Employees of cash-strapped Jet Airways Saturday protested outside Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport here seeking release of pending salaries.

The beleaguered airline, which is flying just six-seven aircraft on Saturday, has asked its lenders to grant some “interim funding”. Its employees are expecting to be paid their pending salaries once the fresh funding comes through.

Employees of Jet Airways gathered outside Terminal 3 in their uniform for a silent protest on Saturday afternoon. They carried banners that read ” Save Jet Airways, Save our future” and “Hear our cry, Let 9W fly”. 

9W is the code for Jet Airways flights, just like 6E is for IndiGo flights. 

On Friday, Jet Airways employees took out a silent march in Mumbai. 

Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had earlier said that the airline would fly just 6-7 aircraft on Saturday and Sunday. 

At its peak, the airline flew a 119-aircraft fleet. 

On Monday, the lenders – lead by SBI – would again meet the management of Jet Airways which will present a plan to use the “interim funding”, if granted.

Jet Airways on Thursday grounded its services to and from the East and Northeast regions and suspended its international operations till Monday. Consequently, many passengers were left stranded at the airports.

Naresh Goyal puts in bid for Jet Airways

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal has put in bid for buying stake in the ailing airline, sources said.

Goyal quit as chairman of the carrier last month under a debt resolution plan that saw lenders taking control of the airline.

Airline sources said Goyal has put in bid for Jet Airways.

It couldn’t be immediately ascertained whether he has partnered with any entity or airline for the bid.

Friday was the last date for initial bids set by SBI Capital Markets.

SBI Caps has the mandate for Jet Airways’ sale on behalf of the SBI-led consortium of the domestic lenders to the debt-ridden private carrier.

The bidding norms allow Goyal to participate in the sale process.

“It could be financial investor, it could be airline…including Naresh Goyal himself or Etihad. Nobody is barred from bidding or taking over the airline as per the rule,” SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said last month.

Last month, Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal stepped down from the board of the airline, which has more than Rs 8,000 crore debt.

Meanwhile, the crisis in Jet Airways has deepened as the airline could operate only 11 aircraft on Friday, leaving passengers stranded at various domestic and international airports and prompting the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.

According to sources, the meeting was called after Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu asked secretary of the department Pradeep Singh Kharola to review issues concerning Jet Airways.

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