Covid-19 impact: SpiceJet says pilots will not be paid for April and May

SpiceJet has cut salary of cabin crew by 30% and has also made it harder to get promoted.
Low cost airline SpiceJet has told its pilots that most of them will not get paid for the months of April and May. The airline instead will roster its pilots in a way that most get chances to operate the company's cargo aircraft in order to get minimal pay. Pilots who are operating cargo aircraft are getting paid according to the hours they fly.

SpiceJet has five freighter aircraft which are ferrying cargo like medical and food supplies within India and abroad. Additionally, it has also deployed passenger aircraft Boeing 737 and Q400 for carrying cargo. “We will not be getting any salary for April and May 2020. Over the coming weeks we intend to increase the number of aircraft carrying cargo. Our rostering team will ensure that all of us get to fly the aircraft. Flying will be limited but it will ensure that all our training requirements are current and skills stay intact,” Gurcharan Arora, the airline’s Chief of flight Operations said in a message to the pilots.

16 per cent of SpiceJet aircraft are being operated for cargo by 20 per cent of its pilots. Most of the airline’s fleet is grounded since March 24, since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a national lockdown to control the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).

SpiceJet has cut salary of cabin crew by 30 per cent and has also made it harder to get promoted.

According to the new pay structure announced on Sunday and reviewed by Business Standard, fixed salary will be paid for 25 hours of flying. A source told Business Standard that earlier fixed salary was paid for up to 50 hours of flying. “The basic salary which used to be around Rs 36,000 for a fixed 50 hours for the lowest slab has come down to Rs 29,000. Additionally, the company will not pay layover allowance and airport standby allowance,” a person said.

Recently, the airline's promoter and CMD Ajay Singh told in a television interview that a large section of employees was on leave without pay as revenues have nosedived due to the lockdown.

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