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Friday, April 17, 2009

Jet restructures to slash costs, 400 jobs may go

Times Of India

NEW DELHI: Close on heels of cutting capacity and leasing out several aircraft, Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways has started a restructuring programme to further reduce includes steps like closing some offices in metros and having a centralised operation control centre in Mumbai, something that could affect 400-odd employees.

The airline is learnt to be trying to take its operational tie-up with Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher forward to ensure some savings for both the airlines. "There have been a series of high level meetings between the two carriers. Jet and Kingfisher aim to use each other's resources optimally and cut costs caused by duplication of services. As part of that, Jet is looking at the possibility of closing some offices in metros that essentially handle ticketing," said sources.

Jet admitted that airlines are having a tough time and taking steps to survive. "The aviation industry is undergoing a severe crisis worldwide and in India. Jet is taking a proactive approach to improve its viability. However, we are not commenting on any of our restructuring initiatives at this point of time," said a spokesperson.

Jet, which has slashed close to 30% of its flights and leased out planes like all other airlines in past six months, has now slipped to number two position in market share with Kingfisher occupying that slot firmly. Sources said Jet will have a centralised control and rostering section in Mumbai. Currently, the job of flight despatch is handled at each big hub like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.

In fact, all airlines have been pursuing cost cutting measures to survive the tough times as the slowdown has led to drop in air traffic. "Today lowering fares also does not lead to increase in number of flyers. Airlines are now going to cut further capacity," said an official of another airline.



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