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New Delhi: India's largest domestic airline IndiGo on Friday said it will implement salary cuts for senior staff from May besides handing out a graded leave-without-pay programme for employees till July to help the carrier conserve cash and reduce expenses.

The latest development comes after the airline had rolled back a proposed salary cut last month.

In an email to employees, IndiGo's chief executive Ronojoy Dutta said the airline is left with no option but to implement the originally announced pay cuts from the month of May 2020.

"Given the gradual build-up of capacity, I am afraid we have to take the additional painful step of implementing a limited, graded leave-without-pay programme for the months of May, June and July," Dutta said.

"This leave without pay will range from 1.5 days to 5 days depending on the employee group. While doing so, we will make sure that Level A employees, who form a majority of our workforce will not be impacted," he added.

A copy of Ronojoy Dutta's email to IndiGo's staff has been reviewed by Mint.

Indian airlines face a debilitating cash crunch due to grounding of flight operations following the government’s decision to initiate a lockdown to contain the covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 269,867 lives globally. The lockdown has been now extended till 17 May.

India’s aviation sector, including airlines, airport firms, ground handling companies and airport retailers, is expected to post losses of $3-3.6 billion in the June quarter because of the hit to operations, according to aviation consultant Capa India.

Airlines like SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia India, Vistara, and Air India, besides IndiGo, have initiated measures like salary cuts, leave without pay and deferred salary payments for their staff to contain escalating costs.

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