New Delhi: Struggling to stay afloat in the face of strong headwinds, the Naresh Goyal controlled Jet Airways has handed out pink slip to 16 more staff in its bid to reduce cost. Industry sources said these employees were working as ground staff in the airline’s Kochi and Hyderabad offices.
The airline is learnt to have laid off as many as 20 employees last month, including some senior-level executives from the in-flight services department. The current lay-off is the third in last few months, as the airline had earlier asked 15 managerial level employees from various departments, including engineering, security and sales, to leave the company.
Debt-laden Jet Airways, which operates a fleet of 124 aircraft, has around 16,000 workforce across the country.
“The airline continues to layoff people from various departments in small groups. It has already shut its city office in Hyderabad, which had 4-5 employees. Last week, the airline asked some of its employees working in Kochi office to quit. Together, it has retrenched another 16 people from these two offices,” a source said.
“The airline has laid off some people in recent months. But we hope the situations would improve sooner than later as fuel prices have started softening. The airline business is very cyclical in nature, so these kinds of phases keep coming,” said an airline executive wishing not to be named.
Facing severe liquidity issues, Jet Airways has been delaying salaries of its staff besides handing out pink slips to dozens. A section of pilots has already protested against salary delays and wants commitment from the management on timely payment of their salaries besides clearing previous dues.
Jet Airways, 24 per cent of which is owned by Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi, posted a net loss of Rs 1,261 crore during the September quarter. It was the third successive quarterly loss for the airline.
Last week, Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube had said the airline was in “active discussion” with various investors to secure financing to navigate through the current headwinds and create long-term growth.
With financial health of the airline worsening each passing day, it is trying to negotiate a share sale deal with investors. It has held talks with Tata Sons but the latter has termed the discussion as ‘very preliminary.’
Meanwhile, Jet Airways on Monday said Robin Kamark would be strategic partner Etihad Airways’ nominee director on its board from December 1. There have also been reports that the airline is seeking help of Etihad Airways to tide over the current crisis.
In a filing to the stock exchanges, Jet Airways said Kamark would be the nominee director of Etihad Airways in place of Harsh Mohan from December 1.
Kamark is responsible for leading Etihad Aviation Group's minority equity investment strategy and optimising business performance, revenue and cost synergies between Etihad and its equity partner airlines around the world, the filing said. He handles strategic leadership for airline partners where Etihad has management responsibility....