20,000 Jobs at Stake as Jet Airways Grounds Flights

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After flying for 25 years, Jet Airways Wednesday announced temporary grounding of operations after the lenders declined a Rs 400-crore lifeline, putting at stake 20,000 jobs and thousands of crores in passenger refunds, dues to vendors and over Rs 8,500 crore to banks.

In a mail to employees, Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube said the airline does not have an “answer” at present on the fate of its 20,000-odd employees during the stake sale process. Yesterday, Jet Airways Employees protest against the complete suspension of operations, at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

The government has maintained its silence on the issue, but at stake is the uncertain future of employees, lessors and its vendors as well. Hundreds of angry employees have protested in New Delhi and Mumbai, accusing management of leaving staff in the dark about the airline’s worsening crisis which till recently was India’s third-largest domestic airline by market share.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said on Wednesday it will support the resolution process within the existing regulatory framework. In its first reaction on the latest Jet Airways development, the ministry also said that the DGCA and other regulators are monitoring the situation carefully to ensure that all existing rules regarding refunds, cancellations, and alternate bookings are followed strictly.

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