Budget airline SpiceJet on Tuesday said that it has sent 80 of its pilots on leave without pay for three months, PTI reported.

The airline said that it was a temporary measure for rationalising costs.

“This measure, which is in line with SpiceJet’s policy of not retrenching any employee which the airline steadfastly followed even during the peak of the Covid pandemic, will help rationalise the pilot strength vis-à-vis the aircraft fleet,” the budget carrier stated.

The pilots who have been sent on leave without pay are from SpiceJet Boeing and Bombardier fleets.

On July 27, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had ordered the airline to operate 50% of its flights for eight weeks after several of its planes reported technical problems. The carrier is currently under “enhanced surveillance” by the aviation regulator.

On July 5, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had issued a showcause notice to SpiceJet after the airline reported eight instances of technical malfunction in 18 days. The aviation regulator had sought the company’s explanation on the “degradation of its safety margins”.

SpiceJet has also been reportedly facing financial problems due to rising fuel costs and the depreciating rupee. In the first quarter of 2022-’23, the company recorded a net loss of Rs 789 crore, as compared to a loss of Rs 729 crore in the same period last year, according to Mint.