As Many As 1,900 Positions Eliminated, Including 800
Citing "these difficult times" and an expected $2 billion USD
loss in the Indian aviation industry in 2008-2009, on Wednesday Jet
Airways announced it would cut back its previously announced winter
schedule by 15 percent... while also firing the personnel who were
recently hired to handle those extra flights.
"This is inevitable in view of the declining traffic volumes,"
the airline said. "Jet Airways expects these difficult market
conditions to continue for some time. Jet has been watching the
situation for some time in the hope that it may turn around, but
has now reached a stage at which some hard decisions are
"As a consequence, personnel hired for the expansion,
probationers and unconfirmed personnel, (who have been recently
hired), will have to be released. As a first step, around 800
flight attendants, recently recruited for the planned expansion
program, which has now been suspended, have been released. We are
in the process of releasing personnel in other categories
Reports out of India indicate the total number of job losses
could surpass 1,900... including probationary and temporary
workers, as well as cockpit crew and management positions.
The airline said all cuts would be directly tied to "the lower
number of flights and seats offered" -- and stressed the layoffs
had nothing to do with the announcement this week of
a planned "alliance" with rival Indian carrier Kingfisher
"We wish to clarify that the reconsideration of our operations
has been ongoing for some time now and this adjustment in personnel
numbers did not result from the planned alliance with Kingfisher
Airlines. If at all, improved economies in other areas would help
obviate such step in the future."
Despite Jet Airways' lamentations, the timing of the layoffs is
curious, to say the least... especially given the fact both Jet
Airways and Kingfisher stated their alliance would "significantly
rationalize and reduce costs... with immediate effect."
And nothing cuts costs quicker than job layoffs.