India Markets close in 5 hrs 38 mins

Jet Airways approaches airlines, e-commerce firms seeking jobs for the staff as uncertainty over its fate continues

FP Staff
Embattled Jet halted all flight operations indefinitely on 17 April after its lenders rejected its plea for emergency funds

After more airlines including Vistara and SpiceJet came forward to hire employees of the temporarily grounded Jet Airways, the embattled airline has reportedly approached various firms including its peers seeking jobs for its employees, said a media report.

Jet Airways' chief people officer, Rahul Taneja, has reportedly been in talks with his counterparts at Vistara and SpiceJet besides the e-commerce companies like Amazon in bid to persuade them to accommodate its employees, especially the cabin crew, said a report in The Economic Times.

The Jet Airways management is reportedly creating a database of the employee profiles and sharing them with prospective companies, said the report quoting several persons in the know of the matter.

After unsuccessfully looking for an investor or fresh bank loans for months, Jet Airways had finally on 17 April stopped operations, leaving over 22,000 employees in the lurch. Of these, around 1,300 are pilots and over 2,000 are cabin crew.

Last month, a former cabin crew of Jet Airways, Amit B Wadhwani, who now runs a Mumbai-based real estate consultancy Sai Estate Consultants, offered jobs to the staff of his former firm, said a Hindu Business Line report. His company has also listed out the posts for which Jet employees can apply, the report said.

Vistara to hire 500 Jet Airways employees 

Last month, premium carrier Vistara said it would hire around 500 employees €" 100 pilots and 400 cabin crew €" mostly from the grounded Jet Airways in one of its largest hiring exercise since it began operations over three years ago, PTI reported quoting industry and airline sources.

"Vistara, which is likely to begin international operations soon, is in the process of inducting 100 pilots besides 400 cabin crew. Most of the new workforce is expected to come from the grounded carrier Jet Airways," said a source familiar with the matter.

The grounding of Jet Airways has come as an opportunity for the market to hire readily-available skilled workforce from the licenced categories €" pilots, engineers and cabin crew €" and deploy them directly into specifics roles, thereby saving time and money on training them, they said.

Air India Express has also inducted around 25 commanders from the grounded airline's and plans to induct 20-25 more pilots. Its parent Air India has been discussing an internal proposal to lease five of the 10 Boeing 777s of Jet Airways to expand its international footprint.

Last month, SpiceJet's chairman and managing director (CMD) Ajay Singh had said that his airline hired about 1,000 employees of Jet Airways. He added that SpiceJet was happy to provide jobs to Jet Airways' employees, besides reducing inconvenience to flyers.

A couple of days after the SpiceJet chief said that his firm provided jobs to the employees of Jet Airways, a controversy erupted after a Spicejet official allegedly told some Jet Airways pilots during a recent recruitment drive in Mumbai that they were doing a "charity" by hiring them, a PTI report said.

SpiceJet, however, denied the allegations as "completely false and distorted," and said its team was in the city to hire pilots and not to run them down.

The Spicejet official also allegedly told Jet Airways pilots that his carrier was losing huge money by hiring them as first officers as if they recruited fresher pilots, they would have got Rs 25 lakh per pilot besides a bond for Rs 25 lakh as well, the source said.

Jet Airways technician commits suicide 

Last month, a senior technician with Jet Airways allegedly committed suicide in Maharashtra's Palghar district due to depression as he was suffering from cancer, police said on Saturday.

Shailesh Singh (45) jumped off the terrace of his four-storeyed building in Nalasopara East on 26 April, an official said. As per functionaries of Jet Airways Staff and Employees Association, however, Singh was facing "financial constraints" as employees of the grounded airline have not got salaries for a long time.

NAG seeks Modi's intervention for salary

On 27 April, the National Aviator's Guild (NAG), which represents pilots of the grounded carrier Jet Airways, requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "direct" the airline's lender State Bank of India (SBI) to release one month's salary of all the employees.

In an e-mail to the prime minister, the guild also sought government's directive to "stop de-registration" of the airline's aircraft, which are now being leased by other domestic carriers.

Employees' consortium to bid for airline

Meanwhile, an employees' consortium proposed to take over the airline with at least Rs 3,000 crore expected from outside investors for the bid, said a PTI report quoting two staff unions. This is the first time that employees have come together with a proposal to run the more than 25-year-old Jet Airways, which temporarily suspended operations on 17 April.

Last month, two associations representing pilots and engineers €" SWIP and JAMEVA €" wrote to State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar proposing that they would take over the airline and could bring in up to Rs 7,000 crore.

€" With PTI inputs

Also See: Jet Airways issues gag order over 20,000 employees, cautions talking to media will affect bidding process

Fear of job loss grips thousands of Jet Airways employees after airline’s temporary shutdown

Jet Airways stake sale: Tata Group likely to make yet another bid for grounded airline via bankruptcy courts

Read more on Business by Firstpost.