Each sunrise hopes to see the blue and yellow stripes soaring across the skies again: Capt Tapesh Kumar, Commander, Boeing 737 at Jet Airways

Mumbai Live conducted an exclusive interview with the Jet Airways Boeing 737 Commander, Cp Tapesh Kumar, where he talks about his journey with Jet and how the entire saga unfolded for the employees of the brand.

Each sunrise hopes to see the blue and yellow stripes soaring across the skies again: Capt Tapesh Kumar, Commander, Boeing 737 at Jet Airways

"...The last we heard from Mr. Goyal was the day he resigned and after that, on May 5, 2019, we received a letter from him. Rahul Taneja, the Chief Public Officer of Jet was in constant touch but everyone was gripped with uncertainties. In fact, we received more communications from the management especially the CEO and CPO after the company shut down," revealed Captain Tapesh Kumar, a Jet Airways pilot, during an interview with Mumbai Live, on May 7, 2019, before the latest reported communication from Naresh Goyal was given to Jet Pilots.

As per the recent announcements, Jet Airways, due to an unfortunate series of events, decided to shut down the operations entirely, leaving the employees clueless about their jobs and association with the firm. Many conducted the protest, used social media to vent out their anger and reached out to the media to seek support. In this conversation with us, Tapesh shares his thought on how he and many others like him are dealing with tough times.

His affair with Jet Airways started on April 8, 2013, and it lasted for just about five years. The entire journey with Jet has been a roller-coaster ride. It lasted exactly after 5 years and the journey today is coming to an end. Unfortunately, things will never be the same again and deep down we know this change is inevitable. I would undeniably miss the cockpit and the aerial view the most” he said about his association from the day of commencing his role.

People associated with the firm shared heart-wrenching stories. Reports and videos floating across both media and social platforms reflect the emotional turmoil they dealt with, over the last few months. Talking about the difficulty he and many others faced during the last few days at Jet, Tapesh said, “Emotionally it had been a turmoil because someday we felt that there's a ray of hope from Etihad and other organizations and the other day it was all done and dusted. Financially there wasn't a problem for me as I have been earning and saving sufficient simultaneously for 5 years but this isn't the case with everyone. Especially with the ones who are not pilots and hold other ranks or have recently joined the company. The crisis has had a grave impact on them. Pilots have not been paid since January, some staff hasn't received their salaries since March, and many since August.”

This was Tapesh’s first job. His father was also associated with the airlines since its inception, and so the fact that their journey has come to an end is still unfathomable for both of them. During the discussion, it was quite evident with his statements, that something was wrong, and the gap was with communication. Answering how that would have helped, he said, “I would much rather they had communicated, the state of the company honestly and people could have gradually started looking out. Today so many people are jobless because of that.”

With time, authorities in Jet Airways had decided to reduce operations, thereby bringing services to an end, one after another. Employees did understand the decline of the empire created by the Goyals, but did not expect such an end. “We never really knew when would our last flight be as when things suddenly started going downhill situation started becoming worse and there was very little clarity. Interestingly, on my Bombay-Delhi flight, I was joking with my co-pilot that I hope this isn't our last flight, and surprisingly it did turn out to be my last flight. Since there was really no clarity, I guess we did not even have time for proper farewells,” he added.

Thanks to the luck and the support, he had received during his career, so that he could save. Tapesh is able to choose an alternative option available today, and clarifying what plans he has for the future, he said, “I had taken up training for MAX but unfortunately, by the time I completed my training, the plane was grounded. Currently, I have been training other pilots at my father's Aviation Academy. To spill some beans, I'll soon be joining Air Asia and have been looking forward to it. Although to be in command of an A320 was never an agenda, I go by the name Boeing Boy for a reason, but that's where we are. Although I could have gone with SpiceJet or Air India both, I have decided Air Asia is where I'll be flying next.”

To be honest, at times it is not only the people we connect with, but it is also the company which we love, for many different reasons. On a closing note, he gets emotional about what Jet Airways meant to him, and he ends the conversation on a rather poetic tone, by saying…

The skies seem lonely. The aprons feel empty. 

 Voices echo in the terminals nowadays.

 Each sunrise hopes to see the blue and yellow stripes soaring across the skies again.

 Each sunset leaves behind a new hope for tomorrow. 

 Here's to a company I gave my heart to! Jet Airways, you're missed…

MumbaiLive would like to send you latest news updates