Airlines line up job cuts to tide over challenging times

Airlines line up job cuts to tide over challenging times

New Delhi: Reeling under the high fuel rates, country’s leading airlines, including Kingfisher and Jet, are looking at downsizing staff strength, apart from other measures, to cut costs.

The latest to conduct downsizing exercise is Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines, which is laying off 300 employees.

India’s largest private carrier Jet Airways has also embarked upon a downsizing exercise and has worked out a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) for 687 JetLite employees.

“As part of a concerted company-wide effort aimed at minimising the impact of the ongoing turbulence faced by the aviation industry, Kingfisher Airlines has over the last six months embarked on a series of restructuring measures designed to achieve cost savings and rationalisation and operational efficiencies," Kingfisher spokesperson said.

“As a result, 300 employees have chosen to move on and have parted ways with the company and/or put in their resignations," he added.

For the outgoing employees, the airline is offering a severance package equal to two months gross salary for every completed year of service (subject to a minimum of 3 months pay-out), he said.

Jet Airways has worked out a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) for 687 employees for JetLite.

“We have offered an attractive VSS under which we are giving money equivalent to six months of salary for those who have worked for six months in the airline," Jet Airways spokesperson said, adding job cutting is being done in accounts, administration and marketing departments.

Wadias-promoted GoAir has also laid staff in the last quarter.

“With the rise in the fuel prices most of the full service and low cost carriers had cut jobs to rationalise operations and save costs. In the last quarter, GoAir had also undertaken similar measures and trimmed the headcount," the airline said in a statement.

Airlines have to cut jobs as a way-out in challenging times, according to Federation of Indian Airlines Secretary General Anil Baijal, “Any industry takes steps to cut costs in challenging times and the carriers in India are doing just that."

The problems for the industry are getting compounded because of the global recession, which is translating into fewer passengers.

However, with the oil prices moderating and the festive season round the corner, better times are expected ahead, Baijal said.