* Jet Airways oldest private airline took off nearly 26 years ago
By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, May 18: It was a flight of fancy which grounded with a bang spoiling the dreams of many high inspiring NE girls who had boarded as airhostesses five years ago after passing class-XII.
The despair and helplessness of those retrenched high flyers was visible recently when they were staging protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding revival of Jet Airways.
Commenting on the situation, Delhi Police special commissioner Robin Hibu said that he had protested five years ago when NE pastors had come to him with those newly selected as airhostess and cabin crew with dream lit large over their faces for seeking his blessing and advice.
“I had strongly advised them not to risk their higher studies for ephemeral flight of fancies airlines jobs,” but dharna by hundreds of NE damsels clearly indicated that his apprehension had come true.
“They were protesting under scorching summer heat with tears in eyes, sun burnt darkish faces, tattered and broken from inside, salary not paid for six months and left to fend for themselves in heartless city.
“It was worst that many had come to my office to beg me to recommend them for any petty jobs in other airlines or in hospitality industry for their survival. These abandoned airlines staff don’t have much hope for future. They were in hallucinated high flying flight of fancy, used to temporary five-star life for few years but their demoralised and saddened face proved their wretched condition but the innocent eyes were twinkling as they had no money to carry on their usual life style and moving in overloaded autos to come for joining the protest”.
However, the NE damsels should learnt lessons from this incident, said Robin, also founder of Helping Hands, adding “My awareness upload to NE social media on ‘Flight of Fancy ‘ received too many criticism branding it as paranoid and washing dirty linen of NE folks in social media.
“Any one before joining these unpredictable airlines should first complete their graduation first as a security for future employability in job market. As elders, we must create awareness about insecurity in such private jobs other than branded and reputed companies, like Tatas, Birlas, Infosy etc.
“It is advisable educate first in their choice of professions for better scope. They should desist from rushing like moths towards light (cities) craving for these temporary jobs in private airlines/ hospitality industry where retrenchment is very common no due to varied reasons.
The NGOs and civil society bodies feeling the pinch should come forward to protect the future of NE girls least such situation continue unabated and the under developed NE region gets victimized for none of the fault of these youths.
It may be recalled that after flying for 25 years, Jet Airways announced temporary grounding of operations after the lenders declined Rs 400-crore lifeline, putting at stake 20,000 jobs and thousands of crores in passenger refunds, dues to vendors and over Rs 8,500 crore to banks. Hinting at job losses going forward, grounded carrier Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube said the airline does not have an “answer” at present on the fate of its 20,000-odd employees during the stake sale process.
Jet Airways employees protested against the complete suspension of operations, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on 18.04.19.
“However, we must also be realistic that the sale process will take some time and will throw up several more challenges for us, many of which we don’t have the answer today,” Dube said in a communication to the harried employees who have not been paid since March. Jet owes over three months salaries to 15 percent of the staff comprising senior management, pilots and engineers
The country’s oldest private airline took off nearly 26 years ago from the airport here to Ahmedabad as an air taxi operator.