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Business News/ Companies / News/  SpiceJet places some pilots on leave without pay to cut costs
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SpiceJet places some pilots on leave without pay to cut costs

The airline said it is a temporary measure to rationalize expenses and optimize fleet
  • Around 70-80 pilots from the Boeing 737 fleet and the Bombardier Q400 fleet have been put on leave without pay for a period of three months
  • This measure will help the airline to rationalise pilot strength as per the aircraft fleetPremium
    This measure will help the airline to rationalise pilot strength as per the aircraft fleet

    SpiceJet has decided to put around 80 pilots on leave without pay for three months to cut costs, people aware of the matter told Mint.

    “As many as 70-80 pilots from the Boeing 737 fleet and the Bombardier Q400 fleet have been put on leave without pay for three months.," a person aware of the development said on anonymity.

    The airline has decided to place certain pilots on leave without pay for three months as part of a temporary measure to rationalize cost, it said in response to Mint’s query. This will help the airline rationalize pilot strength in line with the aircraft fleet, the airline’s spokesperson said.

    The airline has been restricted to operate flights up to 50% of its capacity, according to a 27 July order by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). SpiceJet’s operations have been cut for eight weeks from 27 July, during which it will remain under the regulator’s enhanced surveillance, according to the order. The airline has to demonstrate sufficient technical support for it to be allowed to fly more than 50% departures beyond the 8-week period.

    The latest move by the airline to put pilots on leave without pay has left some people disappointed.

    “It has impacted the morale of employees at the airline," said the person quoted.

    “I am considering quitting the aviation industry. I am thinking of taking up my family business. As if surviving on less than pre-covid salaries was not enough, now the airline has taken this drastic step. I have lost hope," a pilot told Mint.

    The prolonged grounding of the MAX fleet resulted in a large number of excess pilots at SpiceJet, the airline said. “We will induct MAX aircraft shortly and these pilots will be back in service as the induction begins," it said.

    During the leave without pay period, pilots will remain eligible for all other employee benefits as applicable, including all opted insurance benefits and employee leave travel, the airline said. “Even after placing certain pilots on leave without pay, SpiceJet will have sufficient number of pilots to operate its full schedule as and when the DGCA restriction on flights is lifted," the airline said.

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    Published: 20 Sep 2022, 05:43 PM IST
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