New Delhi, April 29
Low-cost airline SpiceJet has told its pilots that they won’t get the salary for April and May but will be paid for the cargo flights that they fly. “As of today, 16 percent of our aircraft and 20 percent of our pilots are flying,” a mail from the airline’s Chief of Flight Operations said.
“Our rostering team will ensure that all onus get to fly these aircraft,” the senior executive added. A SpiceJet spokesperson said that the airline will be issuing a statement later in the day.
The airline had already cut salary, laid off its expat pilots and sent a part of its staff on leave without pay, steps necessitated because of the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Like its peers, the airline had to ground its fleet since the middle of April, as the country went to a lockdown. Though the second phase of the lockdown it expected to be lifted, at least in phases, it’s yet unclear if the government will let airlines begin operations. Meanwhile, the airline is focusing on cargo operations.
“As of today, 16 percent of our aircraft and 20 percent of our pilots are flying. We are doing this by flying our five cargo aircraft and also flying more cargo on seat on our passenger aircraft,” said the Chief of Flight Operations.
“Over the coming weeks, we intend to increase the number of aircraft flying to more than 50 percent and the number of pilots flying to 100 percent,” he added.
The senior executive added that since March 24, more than 200 of SpiceJet pilots have flown over 550 flights. “They have carried more than 4,200 tons of essential medicines…to more than 37 destinations…”