Pilots of cash-starved Jet Airways have appealed to the State Bank of India to release funds worth Rs 1,500 crore for the airline, trade union National Aviator’s Guild said on Monday. The union, which has more than 1,100 pilots of the airline as members, also sought help from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in saving 20,000 jobs at stake. The appeal comes on a day when the management of the airline is meeting the lenders.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had convened an urgent meeting on Friday to discuss the crisis after the airline could operate only 11 aircraft, leaving passengers stranded at various domestic and international airports.
More than 200 employees, under union president and NCP lawmaker Kiran Pawaskar, marched from the Mumbai airport to Jet headquarters Siroya Centre in Andheri and met senior management. They later went to the police, seeking to register an FIR against the airline’s authorities.
“We have to inform you that Jet has not paid our March salaries of date. We call upon you to register offences for cheating, criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of funds and other offences under relevant sections of the law,” Pawaskar, who heads the All-India Jet Airways Officers & Staff Association, said in a complaint to senior inspector of the suburban Sahar police station.
The National Aviator’s Guild (NAG) had decided on Sunday to stop flying from April 15 in protest against non-payment of salaries since March. However, they deferred the “no flying” call in view of Monday’s meeting.
Jet Airways is at present under the management control of SBI-led consortium of lenders after the approval of a debt-rejig plan last month, which also led its founder chairman Naresh Goyal to quit.
Source : news18