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flights: Indian carriers implement fresh round of pay cuts for staff

flights: Indian carriers implement fresh round of pay cuts for staff 1

Mumbai: India’s carriers are implementing fresh rounds of pay cuts in July as demand continues to be low and margins battered in to the Covid-19 pandemic.

IndiGo is slashing salaries of some pilots by over 45%, said a person close to the know. In a letter to employees, a senior executive informed them of more leaves without pay.

Vistara announced a fresh top down 5%-20% pay cut for 40% of its staff, according to a spokesperson at the airline.

AirAsia India will continue to cut its pilot salaries by 40% in July while GoAir will keep implementing its ongoing scheme of leaves without pay for over 90% of its staff, said senior executives at the two airlines.

In a letter to IndiGo’s pilots, Ashim Mittra, senior vice president for flight operations, said the airline will implement another 5.5 days of additional leave without pay (LWP) for the month to 10 days of LWP for a full time leave program.

He added there would be salary revision for “under-training transition captains and transition first officers”. He didn’t elaborate. An IndiGo spokesperson confirmed the leaves without pay in a statement but didn’t elaborate on salary cuts.

Vistara’s CEO Leslie Thng will take a 20% monthly pay cut till December, said a spokesperson. The rest of the airline’s senior management will take a 15% deduction while those in mid-to-junior levels will take a 10% cut till December, she added. Those at the junior level with monthly salaries of Rs 50,000 and above will take a 5% cut. About 60% of employees, including pilots, will not be impacted by the move, she said.

AirAsia India has slashed pilot salaries by 40% for May and June. The cut will extend to July, said a senior executive. GoAir has given leaves without pay to 90% of its staff. That will be extended to July, said an airline executive.

The Covid19 pandemic has had an unprecedented negative impact on airline industries across the world. Global carriers have grounded planes, cut salaries, laid off staff, asked for and received bailout packages from the government.

Indian carriers, with limited exposure to international travel, have survived so far without fiscal assistance. But the scenario remains bleak. The government suspended flights from March 25 for two months to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Flights resumed in a calibrated manner from May 25 but carriers have been struggling with low demand and abrupt lockdown rule changes from state governments which continue to impact schedules. ET reported on June 30 that airlines are cancelling 10%-25% of flights for which tickets have been sold.

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