Home / Companies / News /  Coronavirus: IndiGo does a U-turn, will not cut salaries

NEW DELHI : InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which runs IndiGo, has reversed a decision to cut salaries of most employees by up to a fourth during April.

The turnabout from India’s largest domestic airline came despite mounting revenue losses from a nearly-month-long suspension in operations as IndiGo sought to adhere to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to protect jobs in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

All workers at the budget airline, barring senior executives who volunteered for pay cuts, will now receive their full salary for April.

“In deference to our government’s wishes of not reducing pay during the lockdown, we have decided not to implement the previously announced pay cuts during the month of April," IndiGo’s chief executive officer (CEO) Ronojoy Dutta said in an email to employees on Thursday. “However, your (executive committee) members and (senior vice-presidents) have volunteered to take pay cuts this month. For everyone else, you can expect your April salaries to be paid without the cuts," Dutta said in the email, a copy of which was reviewed by Mint.

IndiGo said in March that it was forced to cut salaries for most of its employees due to a drop in revenue amid curbs on air travel to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

CEO Dutta took a 25% salary cut and officials equivalent to senior vice-presidents and those in higher positions took a 20% salary cut, while vice-presidents and cockpit crew took a 15% cut.

IndiGo is not the only one. All major Indian airlines including SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia India have initiated pay cuts for a section of their employees.

SpiceJet cut salaries by 10-30% in March across top and mid rung employees. An airline spokesperson said on Thursday no decision has been taken to cut salaries for April.

Wadia group-owned budget carrier GoAir cut salaries for March and also deferred a portion of March salaries to April. A GoAir spokesperson was not available to comment on the status of April salaries.

AirAsia India has cut April salaries of some employees by up to 20%, according to PTI. An airline spokesperson, however, declined to comment on the report. Full-service carrier Vistara earlier announced a 1-3 day compulsory no pay leave for 30% of its 4,000 workers.

“Right now, we have little control over our revenues and a lot of control over our costs and, therefore, that is where we are focusing all our energies," Dutta said in his email. “We have always been a very cost-conscious company and going forward we will be sharpening up our core competence even more," he said.

India’s aviation industry is expected to post losses of $3-3.6 billion in the June quarter

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