Jet Airways Crisis Round 2: 360 pilots report sick

Last year we all saw the drama surrounding Jet Airways dumping its staff without prior notice. The media lapped up the incidence and finally Jet had to take back the sacking of its employees. Looks like Jet Airways is on course for its second major crisis when employees are concerned. 360 Jet Airways pilots have reported sick for work and took a leave, leavong passengers stranded at various Indian airports.

The protest has been gathering some momentum for the past few weeks, ever since Jet Airways sacked two of its senior pilots last month. Jet Airways has a total work strength of 760 pilots and when almost 40% of them failed to turn up for work, chaos prevailed. 163 captains and 198 first officers suddenly reported-in sick and took leave. As a direct result, 186 flights, which includes 154 domestic and 32 international flights, were affected in the metros alone. Mumbai was the worst hit as 115 of the scheduled 345 flights did not take off.

The trouble began last month when National Aviators Guild (NAG) was formed. The two sacked senior pilots, D. Balaraman and Sam Thomas, were believed to be instrumental in forming of the NAG. The airline never recognized the NAG, but the pilots are now demanding reinstatement of the two pilots.

Earlier, Jet Airways filed an application with the Bombay High Court, which subsequently passed an order restraining the Jet Airways pilots and members of the National Aviators’ Guild (NAG) from going on any form of strike. However, that probably wasn’t enough to keep the pilots from applying for a sick leave.

Meanwhile, more than 13000 passengers are said to have been affected by this sudden turn of events. The disgruntled travellers were wondering why the airlines did not inform them before either through a SMS or a phone call, instead of keeping them stranded in the airport. Jet has now already canceled 31 flights for Wednesday and is planning action against the pilots who too the sick leave today.

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