14 flights cancelled as pilots report sick

India’s leading carrier Jet Airways cancelled 14 flights on Sunday after pilots reported “sick”.

The carrier is financially strained and has not been making salary payments to its employees since August. It defaulted salaries to its senior management, pilots and engineers.

Fourteen flights were cancelled due to some pilots reporting sick, and many were protesting against the non-payment of salaries.

Jet Airways has said that the flights were cancelled over an “unforeseen operational circumstance” and not because of the protest by pilots.

Some pilots had written to Chairman Naresh Goyal, saying they are unwilling to work if the situation persists.

Jet Airways said the passengers of the cancelled flights were informed about the status of their flights via SMS alerts and that they were re-accommodated or compensated.

Jet Airways denied any rift with its employees and maintained that the company continues to enjoy support of all its employees.

The company also added that the management and pilot unions continued to discuss the ongoing crisis. The airline mentioned that it partially paid salaries of staff members for September but full salaries of October and November remain unpaid.

Jet Airways in talks with new investors

Jet Airways has been in talks with several firms like the Tata Group, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines to stake purchase and give a lifeline to the struggling airline.

The promoter and founder Naresh Goyal’s family own 51% stake in the airlines.

The Tata’s talks with Go Air and Air India failed, so Jet Airways is the only bet. However the Tata’s would want a controlling stake in the business.

If Etihad Airways walks away by selling the 24% stake and if Naresh Goyal cuts down his stake, the Tata’s could get what it wants.