Jet Airways is likely to reinitiate a move to terminate the services of its contract employees across the country as the airline attempts to cut down the number of flight operations and destinations served by it in the domestic sector.
The Naresh Goyal-promoted airline is learnt to have discontinued flights to Vijaywada and Tirupati and has closed down offices in these two destinations. The airline’s Visakhapatnam office is slated to be closed from June. Jet had recently cut down about 15 flights from Kolkata, a station that could see some lay offs.
“The airline is progressively cancelling domestic flights and closing stations across the country,” said a Jet executive, who did not want to be identified. Another Jet staffer said that the employees on contract will bear the brunt of the lay offs. “The airline may close a few more stations and cancel flights as it works on rationalising its network with Etihad’s network,” the Jet executive said.
Etihad had bought 24 per cent stake in Jet for Rs 2,060 crore last year and the Indian carrier has to rework its international route network to feed Etihad’s hub in Abu Dhabi. Email and SMSes sent to Jet Airways on Monday on the closure of stations and terminations did not elicit any response till the time of going to print.
Amid reports of Jet having laid off close to 40 employees from various departments, including cargo and human resources, the airline maintained that it had “not terminated” the services of any employee in Delhi.
“To the contrary, Jet Airways would like to categorically state that the services of no employee at Delhi have been terminated, apart from normal attrition, which is way below industry levels. In fact, the airline continues to recruit in areas like revenue management, cabin crew and pilots based on its operational requirements,” a Jet statement said. The airline is also facing an exodus at the top level and is operating without a CEO, a chief financial officer and a chief commercial officer.
The last time Jet had implemented a major cutback was in 2008 when it decided to lay off 1,900 employees in phases, attributing the decision to a slowdown in demand. The employees, who were protesting against the terminations, were eventually taken back.