March 20 (UPI) -- An Indian airline faces significant troubles with a looming pilots strike and financial struggles involving planes it can't pay for.
This week, Jet Airways learned stakeholder Etihad will stop investments after the carrier said it will default on a bond interest payment due Wednesday.
Government officials convened an emergency meeting and asked state-run banks to bail out the airline. Meanwhile, the pilots union said it will stop flying April 1 unless they are paid three months of salary they're already owed. The engineers' union has also complained in a letter to India's General of Civil Aviation that they haven't been paid for three months, either.
"It has been arduous for us to meet our financial requirements, result of which have adversely affected the psychological condition of Aircraft Engineers at work and therefore the safety of public transport airplanes being flown by Jet Airways across India and the world is at risk," the letter stated.
Many employees have left the airline and engineers say attrition could get worse as the impasse drags on.
The rebellion has fueled concern about whether planes are being properly maintained. At a second emergency meeting, the Indian government considered grounding all Jet Airways flights, but didn't.
"We assure you and public that Jet planes are safe to fly and being maintained at the highest levels of safety standards for the last 25 years," the engineering union said in a statement.
Just 41 planes remain in Jet Airways' fleet -- down from 119 a few weeks ago -- because they're being seized for non-payment.
The airline, which at one time was among India's largest, faces competition from InidGo, GoAir and SpiceJet.