No breakthrough in Jet Airways management, pilot talks(Lead:Jet)

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Mumbai, Sep.9 (ANI): Senior Jet Airways officials on Wednesday said that talks with the striking pilots were still on and there was no breakthrough as yet.

A total of 186 flights -- 154 domestic and 32 international -- had been cancelled or affected throughout its network, the officials said, adding that 432 of the 760 pilots were on strike.

Airline chairman Naresh Goyal met Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel and briefed him about the crisis. Goyal is likely to appeal to the Government to step in to resolve the crisis, though Patel refused to comment when asked what was being down to end the stalemate.

Reiterating that the striking pilots have caused huge inconvenience to traveling passengers, the Chief Operating Officer Captain Hameed Ali said Jet Airways was grateful that other airlines had stepped in with timely assistance. They also confirmed that they have set up a crisis management center to help passengers board flights to various destinations.

Their comments and apologies came as passengers were left stranded yet again for a second day in a row.

The Aviators' Guild pilots have said they are standing firm on their demand to reinstate the sacked pilots and added that they are willing to sit across the table for talks - but will not dissolve the union.

The management is reportedly refusing to give into their demands. Sending out a strong message yesterday, Jet Airways sacked some more pilots for their coordinated sick-out following it up with 5 more sackings this morning.

However Girish Kaushik, President of Jet's newly formed union of pilots said the management must reinstate the pilots that have been sacked.

"We have no demands. Just take the six people back - and they have now increased the number. We are helpless. This problem cannot be one sided. It takes two hands to clap. We have extended our hand. I expect the management to extend its hand and solve the problem," he said on Wednesday.

Practically all Jet flight routes have being hurt today with cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and other metros also seeing some of the most cancellations.

Jet Airways Chief Naresh Goyal has said the airline is trying their best to make sure that passengers are put on alternative flights.

"We are willing to sit with them (pilots) and to follow certain guidelines and rules and not create inconvenience to customers and passengers," Goyal told a private television channel.

Jet Airways yesterday suspended all its flights between the UAE and India after almost half of its pilots did not report for duties.

About 13,000 passengers were affected, the airline said. (ANI)

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