New Delhi: Jet Airways, which is facing a severe cash-crunch, has cancelled 14 flights to various destinations after some of its pilots reported “sick” over non-payment of their dues. The incident was reported on Sunday. However, later the airline has clarified saying that the flights were cancelled due to an unforeseen operational circumstance.

Issuing a statement on Monday, the airline said, “Jet Airways spox on 14 Jet Airways flights cancelled y’day after pilots reportedly called in sick: Would like to reiterate that the reason for cancellations of 2nd Dec flights was due to an unforeseen operational circumstance & not pilot non-cooperation, as being unduly speculated.” (Check the Live Flight Status Here)

The statement further said, “Jet Airways spokesperson on 14 Jet Airways flights cancelled yesterday after pilots reportedly called in sick: The management is in regular dialogue with pilots and other teams to discuss and resolve on-going issues including disbursement of salaries.”

The loss-making private carrier has been defaulting on salary disbursement to its senior management along with pilots and engineer since August due to a severe cash crunch.

The airline has partially paid to these staff for September while the full salaries of October and November also remain unpaid.

“At least 14 flights have been cancelled so far due to some pilots reporting sick. They are protesting against non-payment of salary, dues and the indifferent attitude of the National Aviator’s Guild (NAG) in taking up the issue with the management,” the source said.

The NAG is a domestic-pilots body of Jet Airways, representing over a 1,000 pilots.

The Mumbai-based full-service airline, partially owned by UAE national carrier Etihad Airways, has been facing financial problems for quite some now.

The Naresh Goyal-controlled airline is struggling to mop up funds to meet its payment obligations, including salaries to it’s over 16,000-strong workforce.

(With PTI inputs)