Striking Jet Airways Pilots Raise Fears of Collapse

Jet Airways pilots announced on Sunday that they would go on strike over unpaid salaries, heaping more pressure on the cash-strapped Indian carrier to find a new owner to bail it out, the Financial Times reported. The airline is saddled with more than $1.2bn debt and has not been able to pay pilots their salaries for over three months. It left passengers around the world stranded on Thursday when it cancelled its international flights. The carrier is down to fewer than 10 operational aeroplanes out of a fleet of 123, raising fears of an imminent shutdown. The pilots’ work stoppage comes a day after staff staged a protest outside New Delhi airport on Saturday. Given the significantly reduced flight schedule, the pilots strike may not affect operations, but aviation experts say it reflects the deteriorating outlook for Jet, which desperately needs a cash lifeline. “It’s now three-and-a-half months not being paid,” said a captain with Jet’s pilot union, the National Aviator’s Guild, which has over 1,100 members. Read more