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How Jet plans to save cash

October 16, 2018 18:38 IST

The airline has informed its flight attendants that they would be eligible for leave without pay between November 1 and December 20

Jet Airways is offering up to 50 days of leave without pay to its flight attendants.

While Jet called it an employee-friendly step, the move will help loss making airline it to save cash.

Leave without pay for minimum 15 days was introduced for cabin crew operating the Boeing 737 planes in October and the same is now being extended to crew of wide-body Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s in November and December.

 

In its latest communication, the airline has informed its flight attendants that they would be eligible for leave without pay between November 1 and December 20.

Crew based in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru can apply and leave would be granted on first-come, first-served basis.

The scheme is optional and in-flight supervisors are not eligible to seek leave under this scheme.

Jet has over 4,000 people working a cabin crew, which is said to be excess of its current requirements.

The airline has a fleet of 125 planes, including a mix of turboprop, narrow-body and wide-body planes and operates over 650 daily flights.

Cabin crew earn Rs 50,000-120,000 per month, depending on seniority and the pay packet includes a basic component and flying allowance.

Quite often crew are called to airport as stand by.

In that case, they are paid a stand-by allowance and also offered transport to airport and back.

With the leave without pay scheme, the airline would be able to save on basic component plus allowances and transport charges.

On its part the airline said the leave without pay is an employee-friendly initiative and same is not launched for cost savings.

“Typically, with multiple crew  bases, crew rostering during the festive season (October-December), is better planned if leave requests are budgeted well in advance. Based on feedback received, we have therefore opened this up for our crew to apply, as yet another employee-friendly initiative.

"This particular time the window for this category leave taken is up to 50 days. The objective of the initiative is to achieve a better equilibrium between work/life balance and operational commitments,” the airline said in an email response.

Cash crunch has also led Jet management to delay salaries of pilots, engineers and senior management and ground two wide-body planes, including an Airbus A330 and a Boeing 777.

The groundings have also resulted in changes in aircraft being deployed on routes like Mumbai-Singapore and also routes to Gulf.

In its response Jet said one of its Airbus A330 plane is scheduled to undergo engine replacement.

“Such occasional aircraft/engine changes form a routine part of airline's maintenance schedule,” it said.

The airline management has not given any date for payment of September salary to its senior management, pilots and engineers.

In a staff communication, the airline said it was working towards a solution for payment but did not give any specific date.

Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai
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