Jet Airways has phased out the employment of 30 expatriate pilots since April 2017 in a bid to cut costs and appease Indian employees who complained of “stepmotherly” behavior towards them. The National Aviator’s Guild (NAG), its domestic pilots’ union, had demanded that foreign pilots be removed as they are treated better and get higher pay.
In phasing out the expatriate pilots, the second largest airline in India also bowed to the demands of the NAG that had wanted removal of “expensive” pilots. The airline still has 54 foreign pilots but they too would be removed soon, PTI reported. Indian pilots had also asked for the removal of expat pilots due to racist incidents, including one in which a foreign pilot turned violent with a trainer earlier this year. The NAG, which consists of 1,044 members, had issued a boycott call then, which was later revoked.
Jet Airways has handed over pink slips to some 40 expat pilots in the last more than six months. However, 10 of them have been hired again. So, in all, 30 foreign pilots have already been sent back home till now. But we want all these expensive pilots to be done away with. The foreign pilots were commanding the Boeing 737 and ATR fleet. “Today, Jet Airways has an overwhelming majority of Indian pilots with only a small percentage of expatriates, which is in line with DGCA guidelines on FATA, as per which, all airlines are expected to duly justify expatriates recruitment as well have a nationalization plan,” the Jet Airways spokesperson told.