Jet Airways pilots stir ends, flights to resume immediately | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Jet Airways pilots stir ends, flights to resume immediately

delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2009 03:52 IST
Jet stir

The five-day-old stir by Jet Airways pilots ended on Saturday night as the airline management and the agitators reached a settlement under which the four sacked pilots would be reinstated and a consultative group made up of the two sides formed to resolve all issues.

<b1>The breakthrough in the impasse between the pilots, who had begun their agitation on Tuesday protesting the sacking of their colleagues, came after a marathon meeting here lasting more than ten hours.

Jet Airways Executive Director Saroj Dutta said flight operations of the airline on interantional routes would resume immediately while the domestic services would normalise by noon on Sunday.

Announcing the settlement at a news conference, the pilots union National Aviators Guild leader Sam Thomas, flanked by Jet Airways Executive Director Saroj Dutta and NAG President Girish Kaushik, said it has been agreed that the four sacked pilots would be reinstated with immediate effect.

A consultative group would be set up comprising the Jet CEO Hafiz Ali, two directors of the airlines, two representatives of flight operations and five pilots to continue the process of dialogue on all outstanding issues as well those which will come up.

Asked about losses suffered by the ailine during the five days of the agitation, Dutta said no estimates have been done as yet. However, Jet's daily revenue of eight million dollars "had dropped dramatically" and the number of passengers came down from 23,000 per day to 7,500.

On the contentious issue of the pilots' right to form a union, Kaushik said in reply to a question that there was no question of dissolving the NAG which is already a registered body.

The Registrar of Trade Unions is reviewing the NAG's registration and if the decision goes against the pilots, they would not pursue it.

"If there is discrepancy, it is left to the Registrar or the law of the land", Kaushik said and Thomas added "we will not pursue the matter afresh."

The problems between the two sides would be resolve through the consultative group while the Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots, formed about a decade ago, would address the welfare issues, the two NAG leaders said.

While all the four dismissed pilots would be taken back, no punitive action against any one who participated in the agitation.

Thomas said the management and the pilots' representatives would jointly appear before the Regional Labour Commissioner in Mumbai on September 14 to convey the "amicable settlement" arrived at by the two sides.

Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal said in a late night statement that the airline would operate its full schedule of services on all sectors with all crew reporting for their work effective from Sunday.

He apologised to the passengers for the inconvenience caused by the severe disolocation of the airlines services due to the pilots' stir.

Indications of a resolution to the impasse between the two sides came after a marathon seven-hour meeting here during which it was agreed that the pilots sacked by the airline would be reinstated and the pilots would not challenge a review of registration of their union National Aviators Guild by the Registrar of Trade Unions.

The agitation, which saw almost 400 pilots affilated to NAG going on sick leave protesting dismissal of their colleagues and saw cancellation of 280 flights today, is expected to end soon with the pilots poised to resuming duty almost immediately.