Famous In India

Jet offers 50% fare discount

Posted on: September 14, 2009

Airlines FairsMUMBAI: Last week, Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal called his protesting pilots ‘‘terrorists’’ and they in turn were unperturbed by
the airline’s $8 million losses per day thanks to their agitation. But now it’s bonhomie again.

‘‘We have reached an amicable settlement on all issues,’’ said executive director of Jet Airways, Saroj Datta at 2.20 am on Sunday formally announcing the end of their strike that lasted for five days.

‘‘There was some misunderstanding in the family, but now the love has come back. We are the same loving family again,’’ said Capt Girish Kaushik, president of the National Aviators Guild (NAG). Capt Sam Thomas, one of the dismissed pilots, read out an MoU signed by the two parties. It included the airline’s demand of forming a consultative committee with five members from the airline — its chief executive officer, two representatives from flight operations department — and five from the pilots’ side.

The second important clause was status of National Aviators Guild, the pilots’ union. It was decided that the registrar of trade unions will review his earlier order — to register NAG — and with this the matter would stand concluded.

Hours later, on Sunday morning in a press conference, the Jet top brass read out Goyal’s statement to his employees. ‘‘The past few days, when we have stumbled, have been the most challenging our Jet Airways has ever faced in our 16-year old history…..,’’ it read. ‘‘Let us get back to where we were headed — the No.1 slot in the world. From Sunday, the 13th of September, let us write a new chapter in our proud history.’’

Last week, Jet’s ticket bookings fell from 23,000 a day to 7,500. ‘‘Bookings are coming back at a ferocious pace,’’ said Sudheer Raghavan, chief commercial officer, Jet Airways, on the sidelines of the press conference.

The airline has also thrown flyers a bait by offering a ‘‘50% discount on total fare (economy class)’’ on all domestic flights across Jet Airways and Jet Konnect for travel valid up to September 18.

Raghavan expects flight operations to be normal by Monday or latest by Tuesday morning. On Monday, the airline pilots and management are scheduled to meet the regional labour commissioner, the conciliation officer for the dispute. He will be informed that ‘‘on the personal intervention of the chairman the four pilots whose services had been terminated shall be restored back to service with immediate effect’’.

The stand-off has proved costly for the airline — a loss of over Rs 200 crore ($40 million). A grim executive director Saroj Dutta revealed to mediapersons on Sunday afternoon that on an average the airlines is patronized by nearly 24,000 passengers daily across its network spanning domestic and international sectors.

‘‘On an average, our daily revenues are in the range of $8 million (Rs 40 crore), so you can calculate how much we stand to lose for the past five days,’’ he said.

However, he pointed out that there were minor savings on certain variables, like aircraft turbine fuel (ATF) since the flights did not operate.

Moreover, during the past five days, the airline made attempts to transfer nearly 60% of the passengers to other airlines and a small number even to its sister airline, JetLite.



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