Jet Airways likely to discuss issue of foreign commanders with pilots union
The Jet Airways management is likely to hold talks on Wednesday with its domestic pilots’ union, which has threatened to boycott foreign commanders, in a bid to resolve the issue.
The airline’s local pilots body, National Aviators Guild (NAG), had on April 15 issued a directive to its around 1,000 members, asking them not to fly with the expat pilots from May 1 after one of the foreign pilots allegedly assaulted a trainer in Bengaluru early this month.
“The Jet Airways management and Guild representatives are meeting in Mumbai on April 26. The pilot’ body is firm on its decision not to fly with the expat commanders from May 1 and the issue is to be resolved before that,” a source in the airline said.
According to the source, if the pilots stick to their boycott call, the airline operations could be affected due to unavailability of the first officers.
The carrier has around 60 expat commanders who mainly operate its Boeing 737 and ATR fleet.
In a statement last week, the guild had alleged that the airline’s management has for a very long time treated the Indian employees, including the pilots, in a step-motherly manner, a charge that the airline has rebutted.
The Jet Airways management “has disregarded the legitimate expectations of its employees to be treated fairly, reasonably and in a just manner,” the guild had alleged.
In a strongly-worded statement, NAG had also said that disparaging, inappropriate and racist comments allegedly made by certain expat pilots cannot be taken lightly.
“This is in addition to the verbal and physical abuse of a senior trainer by an expat pilot employed by the airline,” the NAG claimed.
It has also sought removal of all expat pilots from the airline.
Denying any “step motherly” treatment to the Indian pilots vis-a-vis foreign pilots in the airline, Jet Airways had said that as a part of the airline’s open door policy, it encourages all employee groups to engage in consultative processes and arrive at amicable solutions.
“As an Indian airline operating internationally, all employees, regardless of nationality, are governed by a strict and common code of conduct,” the spokesperson said.
The airline spokesperson had in a statement on March 19 also said there are robust HR processes to ensure that instances of contradictory nature are duly investigated and appropriate actions taken as per the company’s policy.