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Jet employees request govt for at least one-month’s pay, early completion of bidding process

NEW DELHI: Employees of Jet Airways on Saturday asked the government to quickly and transparently complete the bidding process for the airline. They also requested for at least one month’s salary, about Rs 170 crore for 14,000-odd direct employees, to be paid so that the “value of the airline in terms of its people can be preserved.”

The twin requests were made when Jet representatives including airline CEO Vinay Dube and CFO Amit Agarwal met finance minister Arun Jaitley at his residence here on Saturday evening. Aviation secretary P S Kharola was also present at this almost hour-long meeting.

Jaitley is learnt to have assured the delegation that the government, which does not have any direct role in bidding from interested parties, is keen that the airline revives after the successful completion of the commercial process that is on as that is good both for the sector and travelling public (in terms of lower fares). Sources say giving Rs 170 crore to Jet to allow it to pay at least one month’s salary is a decision that banks will have to make.

“The FM was very kind in granting us time. We have requested that the bidding process be quickly and transparently completed. We requested that at least one-month’s pay, about Rs 170 crore, be paid as that will be good to preserve the value of the airline which is essentially its employees. Doing that will be good for the banks also as we will be able to retain our employees, and hence the value of the company, during the bidding process and remain attractive for potential buyers,” Dube said.

While pilots, aircraft engineers and senior management have not been paid salary since January, the airline stopped paying salaries to anyone from March onwards. Jet suspended operations on April 17.

The Jet representatives had met Maharashtra finance minister Sudhir Mungatiwar on Friday, who had arranged for the meeting with Jaitley a day later.

News credit : Indiatimes