New Delhi: Of the total 119, Jet Airways is currently operating 41 aircraft and there may be ‘further attrition‘ of flights ‘in coming weeks’, said a DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) spokesperson after a meeting between the regulator and airline on Tuesday. The meeting comes after the JAMEWA – Jet Aircraft Engineers Welfare Association (JAMEWA raised a question on the safety of the plane, being flown by them. They had requested the DGCA to intervene in the matter. Also Read - International Flights News: Why Has India Banned Flights? 19 Countries We Are Still Allowed to Go
“The DGCA reviewed the performance of Jet Airways on operational, airworthiness & passenger facilitation today. Current availability of aircraft in the fleet for operation is 41 and accordingly scheduled for 603 domestic flights and 382 international flights has been drawn. However, it is a dynamic situation and there may be further attrition in coming weeks,” news agency PTI quoted the official as saying. Also Read - Unlock 6: India Suspends Scheduled International Flights Till November 30, Says DGCA
Furthermore he said,”The DGCA has instructed the airline to comply with “the relevant provisions of the applicable CARs (Civil Aviation Requirements) for facilitation of passengers regarding timely communication, compensation, refunds and providing alternate flights wherever applicable. The data is being monitored by the DGCA on a regular basis.” Also Read - This Winter Season, 44% Fewer Domestic Flights Than Last Year Approved by DGCA
He added,”We are ensuring that all aircraft in the fleet “whether in operation or on ground” are maintained in accordance with Approved Maintenance Programme (AMP). The operator was also directed to ensure that no pilots/cabin crew/AMEs be rostered on duty who had reported stress of any nature. Additionally, all such staff should be current with all mandatory training requirements. The DGCA is continuously monitoring overall situation and based on the same, will take appropriate steps by the end of the month, if needed.”
Earlier in the day, the Jet Airways’ Aircraft Maintenance Engineers’ Union wrote to the aviation regulator on stating three months’ salary was overdue to them and flight safety “is at risk”.
“It has been arduous for us to meet our financial requirements, result of which have adversely affected the psychological condition of Aircraft Engineers at work and therefore the safety of public transport airplanes being flown by Jet Airways across India and the world is at risk,” the Jet Aircraft Engineers Welfare Association (JAMEWA) said in a letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The letter further stated, “While the senior management is finding a resolution to be in business, we the Engineers who inspect, troubleshoot and certify the public transport airplanes for its airworthiness are in tremendous stress due to non-payment of salaries on time, since last 7 months. As of now, 3 month’s salary is overdue to us.”
Following the letter, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu had tweeted that he has “Directed aviation Secretary, to hold an emergency meeting on grounding of flights by Jet Airways, Advance bookings, Cancellation, Refunds and Safety issues, if any. Asked him to get a report on Jet compliance issues immediately from DGCA.”
As per the Jet Airways’ website, it has a fleet of 119 aircraft in total.However, for the past few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on social media as the airline’s flight cancellations have increased gradually due to the rising number of grounded aircraft. Grappling with financial woes, the carrier has been looking at ways to raise fresh funds.