SpiceJet hires over 500 pilots, cabin crew of debt-ridden Jet Airways, to induct more planes

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Friday announced that it has hired over 500 pilots, cabin crews and the technical staff of debt-ridden Jet Airways, which has suspended all flights this week after the airline failed to work out a deal with the lenders to infuse fresh liquidity to meet its daily expenses. SpiceJet said it will give first preference to those who lost their jobs due to the closure of Jet Airways, as it inducts more planes and expands operations. The airline said that it has already hired more than 300 pilots and cabin crew and over 200 technical and airport staff of the cash-strapped company.

Jet Airways had sought emergency funding of Rs 400 crore from banks on Tuesday. The airline was forced to drastically scale down its operations this week due to shortage of funds to run its regular services on all routes. It was operating just five planes till it was shut down on Wednesday. In a statement, Jet Airways said that despite its very best efforts, it has been left with no other choice but to go ahead with a temporary suspension of flight operations. The airline was also in a discussion with leaders to infuse Rs 1,500 crore as an interim measure to continue its operations. In a BSE filing early this week, it had said that it was waiting for an emergency liquidity support from an SBI-led consortium of lenders to prevent further deterioration in its services.

Last week, dozens of employees of the airline had staged demonstrations in Delhi and Mumbai airports to demand release of their salaries. On March 25, Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal had resigned from the board of directors, following pressure from the lenders as the debt burden skyrocketed to Rs 8,000 crore.

SpiceJet on Friday, however, sounded optimism that its business is making a steady progress, despite the turmoil facing the airline industry. Unveiling its immediate plans, the airline said that it will induct a large number of planes in its fleet soon, and all possible efforts will be made to minimize passenger inconvenience, in view of the seat shortage as a result of the closure of Jet Airways.

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