The Bombay High Court has reserved its order in the pilots' plea that challenged the maintainability of lawsuits filed against them in the court by Akasa Air.
The order, which will now be pronounced on 27 September, will decide if the troubled airline can proceed with the case before the Bombay High Court.
Former Akasa Air pilots had challenged the maintainability of lawsuits filed against them before the Bombay High Court for not fulfilling their notice period requirements as per their employment contract. Pilots have argued that since the contracts were not executed in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court was not the right court to proceed with the dispute.
The airline had approached the Bombay High Court against a few pilots who had abruptly quit their duties without serving the mandatory notice period as required by their contracts. The carrier's pilots are required to serve a notice period of six months (for first officers) or one year (for captains).
Pilots have argued that a suit in the Bombay High Court is not maintainable since the contracts were neither performed nor executed in Mumbai.
However, Akasa has argued that its employment contract with the pilots grants exclusive jurisdiction to the Mumbai courts. In such a case, the Bombay High Court has the jurisdiction to move ahead with the suits.
The court reserved the orders after hearing both parties.
Akasa is seeking significant compensation, reaching crores of rupees, from pilots who left the airline before completing a mandatory notice period. It has cited 'operational losses' and damage to the airline's reputation due to the flight cancellations resulting from their premature departures.
The carrier had told the Delhi High Court that it is in a 'state of crisis' and it 'may shut down' due to the abrupt resignations of 43 pilots to join rival airlines.
This had caused the airline to cancel 600 flights in August.
Akasa's market share slipped from 5.2 per cent in July to 4.2 per cent in August this year following cancellations of flights, as per Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.