Jet Airways has absorbed 2,300 Air Sahara employees in its subsidiary JetLite as a 90-day deadline set in the share purchase agreement between Jet and Sahara as part of their Jet-led merger came to an end on July 18.
Air Sahara had a total employee strength of 4,100 and the remaining 1,800 employees of the airline and mostly working as ground staff and other support services have moved back to the Sahara India Pariwar, as the parent group is called.
Following an acrimonious legal battle Jet Airways in April 2007 finally agreed to take over the Subroto Roy-controlled airline for a discounted price of Rs 1,450 crore and a 90 days deadline was fixed in the share purchase agreement to decide on the fate of employees and to discontinue the use of the Air Sahara brand name by Jet. The closure of the share purchase agreement was effective April 20, though a week ago both the airlines had agreed to bury the hatchet.
A Sahara India spokesman said the group had given an option in April to come back to the parent fold if they wished.
“The employees who could not be retained in JetLite have already come back to the parent organisation and have already started working in various capacities,” he said.
Former Air Sahara President Alok Sharma who had resigned soon after the takeover but was continuing to provide his services during the transition period has also moved back to Sahara India with effect from July 1. Jet Airways also said that it has complied with the deadline for discontinuing the Air Sahara brand name.
Jet Airways Executive Director Saroj Datta said, “Under the share purchase agreement the use of Air Sahara brand was permitted for 90 days except in the case of aircraft where the use is permitted for 12 months.” “All airport signage passenger print, corporate print, Website and other applications where Air Sahara brand had appeared, now all feature the JetLite brand,” he added.