SpiceJet has placed its pilots on unpaid leaves. 70-80 pilots from the Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400 fleets have been on unpaid leave for three months. It has affected the morale of the airline’s personnel, informed an insider in anonymity to media.
The airline informed the media that it has decided to send certain pilots on unpaid leave for three months as a temporary cost-cutting measure. According to a spokeswoman for the airline, this measure will help the company rationalize the number of pilots based on its aircraft fleet.
Following an order issued on July 27 by the aviation authority Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the airline is only permitted to fly at a capacity of 50%. According to the decision, SpiceJet’s operations have been suspended for eight weeks beginning on July 27, during which time it will remain under the regulator’s heightened supervision. The airline must demonstrate to the aviation regulator that it has adequate technical support to fly more than 50 percent of departures beyond the 8-week term.
Additionally, the airline requires recapitalization. Over three years ago, it faced several obstacles, including the suspension of the fuel-efficient Boeing 737 MAX in March 2019 due to two deadly incidents involving the plane. Early in 2020, the Covid epidemic significantly damaged India’s aviation industry, forcing all planes into a temporary air pocket. Due to “non-payment of dues,” it was forced to deregister six aircraft in August due to the operational capacity cap.
It also suffered a ransomware attack in May, which caused profits to be delayed. While the financial report was issued on August 31, the company requested an extension to have its annual general meeting. Ajay Singh, the airline’s chief executive officer, reportedly stated that the company is working with investment bankers to fund $200 million. The recent move by the airline to place pilots on unpaid leave has displeased some.
The company said that the protracted suspension of the MAX aircraft had left SpiceJet with an excess of pilots. The airline noted, “We will be inducting MAX planes shortly, and these pilots will return to duty when the induction begins.” Under unpaid leave, pilots will continue entitled to all other employee perks, including any opted insurance benefits and employee leave travel, according to the airline.
“Even after placing certain pilots on unpaid leave, SpiceJet will have enough pilots to run its entire schedule once the DGCA limitation on flights is lifted,” the airline claimed.
Follow MediaPressToday.com on Facebook and Twitter. For the latest business news, tech news, and live updates, check out MediaPressToday.com.