Mumbai: Over hundreds of passengers of Jet Airways were stranded at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) after the carrier announced the cancellation of 10 domestic flights on Sunday. While Jet Airways alleged that the flights were cancelled owing to “operational issues”, an airline source claimed that the real reason was that of the shortage of airline pilots.

Jet Airways has also duly apologised for the inconvenience caused to the guests of the affected flights. The flight status was sent to the passengers through SMS alerts. A statement released by the airline read: “Jet Airways had to cancel a few domestic flights of date (November 18) due to operational reasons. Guests of the affected flights were duly informed about their flight status via SMS alerts. In accordance with regulatory policy, guests have been re-accommodated and or compensated.”

In a tweet, the airline stated, “We are experiencing very high call volumes at the moment, which may lead to longer wait times than usual. For information on our products and services OR flight status do visit our website.”

The financially-troubled airline has been irregular in paying salaries to its pilots, engineers and senior management for quite some time now, stated an airline source. This has resulted in the loss of a number of pilots in the recent past. Many pilots have resigned as they were made to overwork to cover up for the shortage in labour, added the source.

The Naresh Goyal-controlled private carrier failed to operate on Sunday as it did not have the required number of pilots. “Due to the abrupt cancellations, passengers who had booked their journey on these flights were left stranded,” the source said.

The airline has not taken steps to recruit new pilots in place of those who have quit the airline due to financial issues.

(With Agency inputs)