'Jet Airways takes lead in cutting costs by 20 pc'

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{image-Jet Airways_23112008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Mumbai, Nov 23: Jet Airways is expected to flag off a major cost-cutting initiative on Sunday, Nov 23 with a likely announcement that its chief executive officer will be taking a 25 per cent pay cut and its pilots, engineers and other staff will have to take a 20 per cent cut in pay.

"Chairman Naresh Goyal has convened a meeting of airline officials, pilots and engineers on Sunday, Nov 23 to discuss the issue of salary cuts. An announcement to this effect is also likely," a source close to the development said. Pilots and engineers to be affected by this move are understood to have expressed their opposition to it and are considering their response, the source said. The airline employs around 13,200 personnel with around 2,000 of them drawing a salary of more than Rs 1 lakh a month. These officials comprise mainly pilots and maintenance engineers.

Despite repeated attempts, Jet Airways officials were not available for comments. The air-carrier's move comes in the wake of steep losses and rising operation costs coupled with falling passenger demand.

According to aviation analysts, Jet Airways, which posted losses to the tune of Rs 384 crore in Q2 of the current financial year, is likely to post a net loss of Rs 1,890 crore in 2008-09.

In October, the airline had announced a lay-off of 1,900 employees as part of its drive to prune costs but had to retract, following political pressure.

Jet had, a few weeks back, terminated the services of 35 out of 240 expatriate pilots. While taking back the 1,900 staff, Goyal had described them as his "children" and said that though cost-cutting initiatives would be pursued, there would be no lay-offs. He had also said that he would sit with all of the airline's stakeholders to ensure that the airline was not grounded.

 

OneIndia News

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