April 12 (UPI) -- India's Jet Airways pilot union decided Friday to go on strike Monday over unpaid salaries after failing to get a meeting with the troubled airline's management.
The National Aviators Guild said that the pilots will march in uniform to the Jet Airways headquarters Monday during the strike after threatening the airline with legal action over a perceived lack of pay.
"Our airline is dying a slow death due to unpaid salaries of pilots and engineers for over three months," an internal communication from the union said. "We have gone over and above the call of duty to help keep the company afloat, all in the hope that our efforts and sacrifices will not go in vain."
The union said the company has further added to its anger by ignoring a request since March 31 to meet with them.
In the meantime, Jet Airways has reduced its fleet by nearly 90 percent as it tries to find money to keep the business going. The company said Thursday it grounded 10 more planes after it could not pay for lease rentals on time.
Jet Airways at one time was India's largest private airline, competing head-to-head with state-run Air India in a market filled with budget airlines. The airline has slowly lost its market share since its heyday in the early 1990s and now finds itself $1 billion in debt.
The company was forced to suspend its one-time profitable western international flights this week, including a route to Paris. Jet Airways creditors also extended a deadline for potential buyers to commit to their interest in the company by Friday evening.
Last month, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal stepped down from its board of directors as it struggled to raise more cash from lenders. Goyal was involved with the airline for 25 years.