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Days After Jet Airways Grounds Flights, Employees Approach Arun Jaitley Over Salary Payment

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The airline executives, who were accompanied by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungatiwar, also urged the Finance minister to ensure that Jet Airways' slots are protected and that the airlines’ aircraft do not get de-registered and go elsewhere.

New Delhi: Senior executives of the grounded Jet Airways met the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Friday and requested him to direct the banks to release at least one month's salary.

The airlines, which on Wednesday night suspended its operations indefinitely, has not disbursed salaries to a large number of its employees for the last three months. The carrier decided to ground all its flights last week after lenders refused the airlines' request for an emergency fund infusion of Rs 400 crore.

A day later, on Thursday, a consortium of 26 lenders led by the State Bank of India, which has a 51 per cent stake in the airlines, invited bids from potential investors.

In the Saturday meeting with Jaitley, the airline executives appealed to expedite the bidding process for the airline's stake sale and ensure transparency in the procedure.

“We met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and presented our case. We requested him to have an open and transparent bid process, He assured us of the same and also told us that four parties were interested in Jet Airways,” the airlines’ CEO Vinay Dube told reporters after the meeting.

According to reports, private equity firms TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and the NIIF and Etihad Airways are in the race to buy a stake in the airlines.

National Aviator's Guild Vice President Captain Asim Valiani also said that they had not gotten any firm commitment from the Finance Minister on payment of one month's salary. "But he told us that all the issues would be looked into," he was quoted by IANS as saying.

The airline executives, who were accompanied by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungatiwar, additionally urged the Finance minister to ensure that Jet Airways' slots are protected and that the airlines’ aircraft do not get de-registered and go elsewhere.

"The Finance Minister said he would like to see Jet Airways is revived," IANS quoted Valiani as saying.

(With inputs from IANS)