There’s more trouble in store for Jet Airways passengers on Wednesday — unless the airlines’ management and its rebellious pilots manage to strike a peace deal overnight.
Jet Airways responded to the mass sick leave taken by 300 of its 760 pilots on Tuesday — which disrupted 186 flights and affected 13,000 passengers — by sacking three more senior commanders associated with its pilots’ union.
The National Aviators’ Guild (NAG), the pilots’ union that Jet Airways does not recognise, retaliated by threatening to “completely shut down operations” on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s action by the pilots initially caught the Jet Airways management off guard. In the morning, utter confusion reigned at Jet Airways counters at airports.
But Jet got its act together fast and managed to accommodate 85 per cent (about 11,000) of its stranded passengers on rival airlines, its own low cost sister airline JetLite or on some rescheduled Jet Airways flights.
Jet pilots went on mass sick leave on Tuesday protesting the sacking of two of their colleagues for forming NAG. The airlines’ management moved the Bombay High Court and obtained an order restraining its pilots from going on strike.
Jet had approached the Regional Labour Commissioner (RLC) against the pilots’ notice declaring their intention to strike. “The RLC had stated any strike by the pilots during the pendency of conciliation would be deemed an illegal act,” a Jet Airways statement released to the media said.
Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal met Civil Aviation Secretary Madhavan Nambiar on Tuesday morning. “I’ve have requested the Jet management to talk to the pilots and resolve the crisis,” Nambiar told the media.