India's Jet Airways denies layoff rumors


Jet Airways Ltd, India's top private carrier, said on Wednesday it has no plans to cut jobs in drive to save costs and instead look to non-payroll areas to streamline operations.

On Wednesday, a newspaper reported, citing unnamed top executives, that Jet was considering cutting up to 10% of its workforce.

"In view of spiralling operational costs and increase in fuel prices, Jet Airways is continually looking at several non-payroll areas at cutting costs," the firm said in an e-mail response to Reuters.

Jet, which will report quarterly results on Friday, said in a statement that it sought to bring down costs through all possible measures "but without bringing down its workforce."

Jet did not elaborate on the cost cutting initiatives, but has in the past said it plans to sell and lease back aircraft as well as cut interest costs by converting rupee loans into dollar debt.

Despite domestic passenger traffic growing at close to 19% in the first eight months of the year, most Indian carriers are loss-making and burdened with high debt incurred to finance expensive aircraft acquisitions.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has forecast a record of almost Rs 15,000 crore loss for Indian airlines for the year ending March 2012, with state-run Air India alone likely to account for more than half of it.

Jet's rival Kingfisher Airlines, which has sought lenders' help to ease its debt burden, on Tuesday said it has cancelled or clubbed flights across some routes where demand has been slow.

Source: Economic Times