Air India has delayed its staff salaries for July, citing circumstances “beyond the control of the management”, The Hindu Business Line reported. A circular issued by the airlines’s General Manager Human Resources, Meenakshi Kashyap, said that all efforts will be made to pay salaries by next week.
According to commercial pilots’ association, this is the fifth consecutive month that Air India salaries are being delayed. Normally, the airline pays salaries by the last day of the month. General Secretary of Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association Deepankar Gupta wrote to the airline about the non-payment of salaries, saying that Air India’s current situation has left them “seriously concerned about the safety of operations and concerned about the safety of our passengers”, The Hindu reported. Gupta also asked if the airline had enough money for mandatory aircraft maintenance.
“To add fuels to the fire, in these uncertain times, the very high handed knee-jerk, impulsive and reactionary behaviour of the top management has deeply anguished our members,” Gupta’s letter said.
This came amid a report that said the Ministry of Finance has opposed the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s request for a bailout package for the airline after plans to disinvest Air India fell through in May.
“Even when the stake sale plan has not worked, the carrier has to find out some way to be profitable,” a finance ministry official told The New Indian Express. “We are already opposed to the move and has communicated the same to the PMO.”
Between 2012 and now, Air India has received equity infusion of Rs 27,195.21 crore, the Centre has told the Lok Sabha. The Centre had recently sought approval from Parliament to sanction Rs 980 crore as a supplementary grant to invest in equity shares for Air India during the 2018-’19 financial year.