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Jet rolls back salary cut, perks to be restored

Last updated on: January 3, 2011 11:25 IST

Jet rolls back salary cut, perks to be restored

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Mihir Mishra in New Delhi
Jet Airways, India's biggest airline in terms of the number of passengers carried, has decided to roll back the salary cut of its over 10,000 employees completely from this month.

A rollback of the cut in perks (benefits that an employee gets besides the monthly salary) is also likely in the near future.

The airline had done a partial rollback of the pay cuts in July last year, after the sector witnessed an improvement.

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Image: Jet employees with Raj Thackeray.
Photographs: Arun Patil.
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"Our salaries will be fully restored to pre-recession levels from January this year. Our salaries had been cut in December 2008; however, it was partially rolled back in July 2010," said a Jet Airways Executive, who did not want to be identified.

After the recession in 2008, the airline had cut salaries of its employees by up to 25 per cent, in which employees with the highest salaries had got a greater deduction.

The executive added that the negotiation over rolling back cut in the perks was on, and a meeting on that would be held on January 3.

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Image: Jet Airways.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Post the economic slowdown, the airline had downgraded the hotel-stay entitlement from five-star to lower-category hotels.

"Even if we stay in a good hotel, the packages that we can avail of are the cheaper ones, providing fewer facilities. And a cabin crew member or a pilot needs complete rest in order to resume work efficiently in the subsequent flight," said the executive.

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Image: A premier class cabin in a Jet Airways Boeing 777-300.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters.
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Apart from Air India and some low-cost carriers, all the other airlines went for cost cuts following the recession.

Air India also tried to implement cost cutting but it could not go ahead with the plan because of resistance from employee unions.

The Naresh Goyal-owned Jet Airways, which operates over 400 flights daily to 67 destinations worldwide, was badly hit by the recession.

In October 2008, the airline laid off about 1,900 employees but later it had asked them to rejoin work.

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Image: Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal.
Photographs: Reuters.
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During the same period, Jet and its rival Kingfisher Airlines had announced an alliance to share their resources to save costs, which could not work out.

To increase occupancy in its flights, Jet also launched its low-cost brand, Jet Konnect, on sectors operating with 50 per cent or lower load factor.

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Image: Jet Lite.
Photographs: Reuters.
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The airline also had to close some sectors, and lease out seven of its 10 Boeing 777-300ERs to survive the financial slowdown.

All the three listed airlines are seeing improved financial performance in the current fiscal. Jet, which ended the 2008-09 fiscal with a loss of Rs 467 crore (Rs 4.67 billion), had an accumulated profit of over Rs 16 crore (Rs 160 million) by the end of the second quarter of the financial year 2010-11.


Image: Jet Airways ticket counter.

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