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Jet Airways pilots appeal to SBI for funds; ask PM to save 20,000 jobs



Jet Airways pilots’ body, the National Aviator’s Guild, on Monday appealed to the State Bank of India (SBI) to release Rs 1,500 crore, which was proposed to be infused in the ailing carrier as part of a debt-restructuring plan last month.

The airline is operating just six to seven planes, with almost its entire fleet being grounded due to non-payment of rentals to lessors amid severe paucity of cash.

“We would like to appeal to the SBI to release Rs 1,500 crore funds for the airline to help it continue operations. We also appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save 20,000-odd jobs at the airline,” National Aviator’s Guild (NAG) vice president Adim Valiani told reporters at the airline’s headquarters, Siroya Centre, here on Monday.

Earlier, the airline’s pilots, engineers and cabin crew members assembled at the headquarters to show their solidarity.

The airline’s pilots, along with engineers and senior staff, were last paid for December 2018. This apart, the airline has also defaulted on the March salary of other categories of employees as well.

Last month, an SBI-led consortium of lenders had taken management control of the airline post a debt-recast deal, following which the lenders had proposed to infuse Rs 1,500 crore to the carrier to keep it afloat till the time it got an investor.

The Monday meeting with lenders is reportedly expected to take a final decision on the quantum of funds to be infused immediately to avert a possible shutdown. A meeting between the airline management and its major lender SBI last Friday could not take a decision on the fund infusion issue.


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