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The national carrier has a debt of around  ₹70,000 crore. Photo: Mint
The national carrier has a debt of around 70,000 crore. Photo: Mint

Air India says no layoffs, but slashes allowances of employees by up to 50%

  • Some 60 Air India pilots operating repatriation flights to bring back Indians stranded abroad have tested positive for coronavirus
  • There has been no reduction in the Basic pay, DA and HRA of any category of employees, the carrier said

Air India today has announced to not lay off any employees like other airlines in India. The carrier also said that the "flying crew will be paid according to the actual number of hours flown."

The decision came after the Air India board had met the officials of civil aviation ministry."Recent decisions of Air India Board regarding rationalization of staff cost were reviewed in a meeting at @MoCA_goi this evening.The meeting reiterated that unlike other carriers which have laid off large number of their employees, no employee of Air India will be laid off," Air India tweeted today.

The airlines said basic salary and allowances linked to it like industrial dearness allowance (IDA) and house rent allowance (HRA) will remain unchanged.

"There has been no reduction in the Basic pay, DA and HRA of any category of employees. The rationalization of allowances had to be implemented on account of the difficult financial condition of the airline that were exacerbated by COVID-19," the airlines said.

Air India has reduced monthly allowances of its employees who have a monthly gross salary of more than 25,000 by up to 50%, according to report in PTI.

For "general category officers", all other allowances would be reduced by 50%, said an internal order. "General category staff" and "operators" would get all other allowances decreased by 30%, the order mentioned. Cabin crew members would see their all other allowances like check allowance, flying allowance and quick return allowance reduced by 20%, the order said.

Air India order said 11 types of allowances — including flying allowance, special pay, wide body allowance, domestic layover allowance and executive flying allowance— for pilots would stand reduced by 40%, according to a PTI report.

"As domestic and international operations expand to reach pre-COVID levels and the financial position of Air India improves, the rationalization of allowances will be reviewed," Air India said today.

Some 60 Air India pilots operating repatriation flights to bring back Indians stranded abroad have tested positive for coronavirus, the airline said earlier.

The national carrier has a debt of around 70,000 crore. The government has been trying to sell off the airline but no deal has been closed so far.

The airline issued an internal order on July 14 asking its departmental heads and regional directors to identify employees, based on various factors like efficiency, health and redundancy, who will be sent on compulsory leave without pay for up to five years.

In a letter to Air India chairman and managing director Rajiv Bansal, the pilots has expressed unwillingness to take the proposed pay cut. Describing the pay cut as 'hilarious', the Air India pilots wrote, "The proposed cut for the pilots is almost 60% of gross emoluments... the top management has proposed a meager 3.5% cut on its own gross salary."

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