An ongoing salary row reportedly forced India’s Jet Airways to cancel over a dozen flights as its pilots called in ‘sick’

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  • Indian private carrier, Jet Airways, had to recently cancel over 14 flights after its pilots reported in ‘sick’ amid an ongoing salary row at the struggling airline, Press Trust of India reported.
  • Jet Airways is also planning to cut down flights to seven gulf destinations including Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha in a move to cut costs.
  • The airline has faced financial troubles amid rising fuel prices and an increasing debt burden.
Amid financial troubles and an ongoing salary row, Jet Airways on Sunday, cancelled over 14 flights as its pilots reported in ‘sick’ in protest over an ongoing salary discord, Press Trust of India reported.

However, the airline has maintained the flights were cancelled because of ‘unforeseen operational circumstance,’ and not pilot protest. The airline reportedly paid some of its pilots and senior executives only 75% of their salary for September and still owed them their salaries for October as of 21 November, Mint reported.

In a bid to cut losses, the private carrier will also pull flights operating on seven gulf routes, starting Wednesday, PTI reported. These flights included 39 services from domestic Indian cities to Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha. Currently, the airline has one service functional on each of the routes — Kochi-Doha, Mangalore-Abu Dhabi, Mangalore-Dubai and Lucknow-Abu Dhabi, among other services.

The move is part of the airline’s plan to shift capacity away from “uneconomical routes to more profitable ones,” Jet Airways spokesperson told PTI. The flight services from Mumbai- Doha, Delhi-Doha and Mumbai-Dubai routes will, instead, be increased, it added.

Other steps the airline has taken recently to help in cost cutting include pulling complimentary access to lounge services for its economy passengers, and plans to sell a 49.9% stake in Jet Privilege, a frequent flyer programme.

For its September quarter, the airline posted a net loss of ₹12.61 billion, its third consecutive quarterly loss. It is also said to have held talks with Tata Sons, joint owner of Vistara with Singapore Airlines for a potential sale.

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