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Jet Airways offers leave without pay to flight attendants

Beleaguered airline Jet Airways is offering its flight attendants leave up to 50 days without pay. The airline called it an employee-friendly move, but this could help it save money, according to a Business Standard report.

The move was first introduced in October for 15 days for cabin crew operating Boeing 737 planes and has now been extended to the crew of wide-body Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s in November and December, the report said.

Attendants based out of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru can apply for these leaves without pay between November 1 and December 20 and would be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The scheme is limited to cabin crew only and in-flight supervisors or cockpit crew are not eligible.

Jet Airways’ fleet consists of 125 planes and operates over 650 daily flights. It has over 4,000 cabin crew, which is more than the airline’s requirement.


The cabin crew’s monthly compensation is based on seniority and is in the Rs 50,000-120,000 range, the report stated. This includes basic component and flying allowance. When the crew is called to the airport as stand-by, they are paid an allowance and also offered transport to and from the airport. When this leave without pay scheme kicks in, the airline can save the basic component.

In a response, the airline told Moneycontrol, “This is a voluntary exercise and is driven keening in mind the upcoming festive season. Typically, with multiple crew bases, crew rostering during the festive season (October-December) is better planned if leave requests are budgeted well in advance."

According to Sunil Goel, Managing Director of research firm GlobalHunt India, such practices by companies are a good way of saving money, even though they are presented as ‘employee-friendly’ steps.

“Two months will be a huge cost saving for the airline and 16-17 percent of the resource cost will be saved. Asking people to take unpaid leave is a cost correction from the company’s point of view,” he told Moneycontrol.

Jet Airways though refuted these claims and said, "The conjecture of cost-cutting is technically incorrect as the amount will be minuscule."

Source: Moneycontrol