Jet pilots defer strike plan as management to meet SBI on Monday

Jet Airways plane. Photo: PTI

Over a 1,000 pilots and engineers of the cash-strapped Jet Airways, who had announced to stop work from Sunday midnight, have deferred their strike ahead of the management-SBI meet on Monday.

The functionaries of the pilots’ union of the airline are expected to meet on Monday too.

A report in the Business Standard said the consortium of banks led by national lender State Bank of India was expediting the infusion of funds to the airline and this could happen on Monday. But apprehensions were high as the other banks on the consortium had not reached an agreement on the modalities, reports said.

The BS report said the airline management was supposed to provide a ‘cash utilisation’ report till May 7 to enable the monetary infusion.

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had asked the banks to expedite the process and directed the management to come up with a plan of action by Monday (April 15).

The initial plan of the banks was to provide ₹1500 crore as a long-term instrument and infuse five per cent of that in small tranches. The airline was but struggling to stay afloat with the small support as its repayment obligation alone ran to ₹1500 crore.

This means the airline would need as much money and a robust turn-around plan to beat long-term risk and to stay operational at an optimum level.