Famous In India

640 Jet Airways pilots go on sick leave as protest

Posted on: September 8, 2009

Jet-Airways_4New Delhi: It is bad news if you are flying Jet Airways on Tuesday. Jet Airways said some of its pilots are striking by calling in sick, forcing the airline to cancel flights.

The pilots “resorted to a simulated strike by reporting sick,” the carrier said in a statement. “This organised activity is a planned sabotage of operations that will damage the airline’s operations.”

Jet Airways said some flights may have to be combined or cancelled. The company will provide updated information using its website and call centre.

640 of Jet Airways pilots, affiliated to the National Aviators Guild, have gone on a mass sick leave, to protest the sacking of two senior colleagues.

The Guild opted for mass sick leave and not strike fearing action from the Regional Labour Commissioner, who deem any strike as illegal.

As many as 235 flights of Jet Airways, both domestic and international, and 130 flights of Jet Konnect are likely to be grounded. Pilots outside India are likely to fly back to their base and then report sick. But the management says it is in a conciliation process with the pilots.

In the statement released Jet Airways said: “Jet Airways is taking all steps to minimise the inconvenience to its guests. We will try to accommodate our guests on alternate flights.”

Those travelling by Jet can expect updates via SMS. The airline is also offering affected passengers a full refund or the option of rebooking on another date at no extra cost.

One of the first causalities of this strike was BJP Spokesperson Prakash Javadekar. “I was flying to Mumbai and they told me that the flight is cancelled and they will give me another flight. Let me find out.”

However, there were many passengers who were angry at the way the airline was handling the matter.

“They said the flight was on time. So I came to the airport at 4am. But there’s no one to help us, no one to say if flight will take off or not,” a disgruntled passenger said.

Another passenger said, “No arrangements, they’re just shuttling us from airline to airline. Everyone’s saying everything is sold out.”



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