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Jet employees' union opposes allocation of slots to other airlines

twitter-logoPTI | April 22, 2019 | Updated 21:43 IST

(Eds: Adding AITUC statement after para 9) New Delhi, Apr 22 (PTI) A Jet Airways employees' union has asked aviation regulator DGCA to stop allocation of the airline's slots to other carriers till the bidding process for stake sale is complete. The All India Jet Airways Technicians Association (AIJATA) also cautioned that in case the allocation is not stopped, it would be forced to resort to legal means for a resolution. Cash-starved Jet Airways suspended operations last week and the authorities are in the process of allocating the airport slots vacated by the carrier to other airlines, amid efforts to increase capacity to meet peak season traffic. Jet Airways' lenders have invited bids for selling stake in the ailing airline and the final bidders are likely to be known by second week of May. SBI is the lead lender. In a communication to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the grouping has requested the regulator to immediately pause the slot allocation process till the bidding process is complete and to protect the value of the company. "Otherwise we will be forced to knock the legal doors for a resolution," it said. The slots allocated to Jet Airways are its properties and the airline is yet to close, AIJATA, which has around 800 members, said. The grounding of planes by Jet Airways has resulted in capacity reduction in the domestic sector, which has also led to a spurt in airfares in many sectors. Last week, a senior government official said that as many as 440 slots of Jet Airways that are vacant at Delhi and Mumbai airports would be allocated to other airlines in a transparent manner. Meanwhile, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said that Jet Airways employees are suddenly finding themselves without any life support. "... the concerned employees be absorbed suitably in government jobs, but the government should not pressure the public sector banks to bail out private entities like the Jet Airways, IL&FS etc. when it refuses to lift a finger for its own BSNL," it said in a statement on Monday. Separately, in an open letter, some employees of Jet Airways have asked SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar to provide the promised funding to the airline and hasten the process of getting new investors on board. PTI RAM MKJ

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