As many as 600, or a third, of Jet Airways
pilots have reportedly already found jobs with other airlines
even as the National Aviator's Guild (NAG), which represents pilots of the grounded carrier, requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the binding bid date for the airline's stake to "preserve" enterprise value of the airline.
In the last few months right before Jet went bust, about 250 pilots resigned, bringing down its pilot strength to 1,350 from 1,600. Of the 250 pilots, over 100 pilots have applied for jobs in overseas companies
like Qatar Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, etc. Private low-cost carrier IndiGo is hiring more than 100 Boeing 737 commander level pilots, majorly those exiting the cash strapped Jet Airways.
Of the remaining 1,350 pilots, almost 100 have been hired by the Tatas-Singapore Airline-run Vistara, while budget carrier SpiceJet has hired another 100 pilots from Jet. However, the low-cost airline is hiring Jet Airways
pilots at much lower pay than their current compensation.
Media reports also said that Air India and its low-cost arm Air India Express are in the process of hiring 250 Jet pilots
for its Boeing 737 planes. However, the Air India pilots' union Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) has urged the management to hire just Boeing 777 (B-777) rated co-pilots on contractual basis instead of hiring costly captains, as it will be a brutal waste of money. Apart from Jet Airways, only Air India Express and SpiceJet operate Boeing fleets in domestic routes.
The grounding of Jet has come as an opportunity for the market to hire a readily-available skilled workforce from the licensed categories and deploy them directly into specifics roles, thereby saving time and money on training them.
After unsuccessfully looking for an investor or fresh bank loans for months, Jet Airways had finally on April 17 stopped operations, leaving over 22,000 employees in the lurch. The Jet employees are now facing stress over employment, while some are also hopeful of a turnaround of the carrier. Under such circumstances, the staff might have to either shift base to Tier-2 or Tier-3 cities or accept job offers having lower compensation, say experts.