From THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, December 04, 2001


Jet Airways braces for lower traffic

Our Bureau


JET Airways, which has no immediate plans of coming out with an initial public offering or going in for private placement of its shares, has estimated that passenger traffic during the fiscal 2002-03 will be about five per cent lower and at the levels of 2000-01.

In an informal chat with newspersons, the Chairman, Mr Naresh Goyal, said that the untoward incident of September 11 had only slightly affected the fortunes of the airline.

Airline officials said that while there had been a drop of around 50 per cent in international passengers carried by Jet during October this year, the international passenger carriage drop was slightly less at between 40 and 45 per cent in November.

However, the drop in domestic passengers carried by the airline was almost half of what was witnessed in international passenger carried by it, Jet Airways officials said.

But while there has been a slight dip in domestic passengers carried, the carriage of cargo had seen a rise in the recent past, Mr Goyal said.

To cope with the developing market situation, the airline is to go in for route rationalisation and may also look at curtailing some flights.

On being asked whether there would be any retrenchments or salary cutbacks, Mr Goyal said that was not being looked at. Officials added that the company was forced to reduce salaries of the employees only for a two-month period. Since December 1, all the cut in salaries have been revoked. Even the Diwali bonus has been paid to the workers, officials said.

On the issue of Jet Airways coming out with an IPO or going in for private placement, Mr Goyal said that the company was assessing the situation and the feeling at present is that this is not the right time. ``We may take a look on the subject in the next 12-18 months. However, nothing has been firmed up as yet.

The airline officials also clarified that they had not received any official intimation from any Government department about an inquiry being conducted into the ownership pattern of the company.

``There has never been any confusion about our ownership all the papers are present with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mr Goyal said.

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