With airlines being severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, budget-carrier IndiGo announced on Thursday that it will introduce pay cuts for its senior employees, PTI reported. The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta has said that he will take the highest cut.
“With the precipitous drop in revenues, the very survival of the airline industry is now at stake,” Dutta said in an email to employees. “We have to pay careful attention to our cash flow so that we do not run out of it.”
Dutta added it is with a “deep sense of regret” that the airline has decided to cut the salaries of employees. “With a great deal of reluctance and a deep sense of regret, we are therefore instituting pay cuts for all employees, excluding Bands A and B, starting April 1, 2020,” he said. Band A and B are the lowest brackets in the salary class, where most of the employees are.
Dutta said the company’s senior executives will take a 20% pay cut. “I am personally taking a 25 per cent pay cut, SVPs [senior vice presidents] and above are taking 20 per cent, VPs [vice presidents] and cockpit crew are taking a 15 per cent pay cut, AVPs [assistant vice presidents], Bands D along with cabin crew will take 10 per cent and Band Cs 5%,” he said.
SpiceJet, another low-cost airline, announced on Thursday that it will suspend most of its international flights till the end of April because of the “unprecedented situation” created by the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.
“In view of the unprecedented situation arising due to COVID-19, SpiceJet is forced to temporarily suspend majority of its international operations from 21st March till 30th April, 2020,” a spokesperson for the airline said, according to PTI. “We will resume the suspended flights as soon as the situation normalises.” The spokesperson, however, said the airline’s Kolkata-Dhaka flight would continue to operate as per schedule.
“Our Chennai-Colombo flight will restart from the 25th March, 2020, while our Delhi-Dubai and Mumbai-Dubai flights will resume from 16th April, 2020,” the spokesperson added.
IndiGo, along with Vistara, is also considering grounding its planes as travel demand has taken a serious hit due to coronavirus, Bloomberg reported. IndiGo’s traffic has fallen by as much as 30% in India, while its international flights have significantly reduced to strict restrictions on travel, unidentified officials told Bloomberg. Several major international airlines – British Airways, Ryanair, Norwegian Air, American Airlines and Qantas – have also plunged into crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.