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Pilots turn heat on Jet Air

Mumbai: The pilots of Jet Airways have warned the management of "non-cooperation" over default on the payment of salaries for the second consecutive month.

The Naresh Goyal-promoted private airline, in which UAE national carrier Etihad holds a 24 per cent stake, is facing an acute cash crunch after posting back-to back quarterly losses this year. While its losses stood at Rs 1,036 crore in the March quarter of last fiscal, the losses jumped to Rs 1,300 crore in the June quarter of the current fiscal.

"Withholding salaries, that too without prior notice, is a serious matter and the management will bear sole responsibility for any repercussions," Jet Airways' pilots said in a communication to the management earlier this week.

"We would like to advice that failure to address the above points and not paying the salaries on time would lead to non-cooperation by pilots," they warned.

A Jet Airways' spokesperson said the management was in dialogue with the pilots and other members of its team to resolve some issues, including the disbursement of salaries.

Significantly, Jet Airways had delayed the payment of July salaries to its staff earlier.

It had proposed an up to 25 per cent cut in salaries of its employees in late June but was forced to defer the plan following opposition from its pilots' union - the National Aviator's Guild - and engineers.

"(Earlier) it was agreed that, henceforth, salaries would be paid on time and, if there were to be a delay, the same would be communicated to the pilots well in time. We are disappointed over both these conditions being violated by the management and the pilot body would be sure to share our disappointment," they said.

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