The first day of Navratri festival began with hope for 4,000 employees of the Jet Airways, as the committee of creditors (CoC) approved Kalrock Capital-Murari Lal Jalan consortium’s plan to revive the airline.
“The employees have endured hardship and financial stress in last eighteen months but now finally we can see light at the end of the tunnel. We hope the revival process is fast tracked with the help of government,”said Amit Kelkar, vice president, Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association.
The airline’s employees have admitted claims of Rs 1,265 crore.
When Jet Airways went into insolvency last June, it had around 8,000 employees, and that has whittled down to around 4,000 at present. A core team of about 175 employees has been functioning since last year. This includes four senior executives- chief strategy officer Rajesh Prasad, legal head Gautam Acharya, vice president (planning) Anthony D’sa and general manager (MIS) Farazad Patrawalla who have been working closely with the resolution professional for revival.”By voting for Jalan – Kalrock consortium in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the committee of creditors has voted for resolution rather than liquidation, thereby vindicating the spirit of India’s insolvency process. The stakeholders, including the employees, are naturally very excited,” Prasad said.
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“We have worked hard for the revival and fought for employee dues and are very happy as Jet Airways will fly again,” said Nidhi Chaphekar who represents the cabin crew union.
While the mood among Jet Airways employees is celebratory, some have sounded a note of caution. While lenders have cleared the plan it still requires multiple approvals and government support.
“Jet Airways is out of an ICU and is now in the general ward,” an aviation expert said drawing analogy with a criticaly ill person. ” How many staff get hired and who gets hired will depend on the new owners and their business plans,” he said.