After 80 Pilots Sent On Leave, SpiceJet Announces 20% Salary Hike From October: Report

New Delhi: SpiceJet has now announced a 20 per cent salary hike for pilots from October onwards following 6 per cent hike in salaries last month, reported news agency IANS. The first tranche of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) payment has been received by the airline, and the next credit is expected shortly, according to the agency sources. The salary hike will be applicable for captains and senior first officers from October, according to a report by Money Control.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Budget carrier asked 80 of its pilots to go on a three-month leave without pay, reported PTI. The move is a temporary measure to rationalise cost, the Gurgaon-headquartered airline said. The pilots who have been forced to go on leave without pay are from the airline’s Boeing and Bombardier fleets.

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Stating the reason behind the leave of employees, SpiceJet noted that more than 30 aircraft were inducted in 2019 following the grounding of the B737 MAX aircraft, but remained unoperated. “The airline had continued with its planned pilot induction program in the hope that the MAX would be back in service soon. However, the prolonged grounding of the MAX fleet resulted in a large number of excess pilots at SpiceJet,” it noted.

SpiceJet incurred net losses of Rs 316 crore, Rs 934 crore, Rs 998 crore and Rs 1,725 crore in FY19, FY20, FY21, and FY22, respectively.

Analysts believe salaries and jobs in the aviation sector are not expected to rise for the next few years despite the entry of airlines like Akasa Air and Jet Airways into the Indian aviation space, according to Money Control report.

SpiceJet is also looking to raise funds to stay afloat. “We are optimistic about our future and our continued recovery and in order to achieve our future plans the Board has mandated fresh capital issuance and the Company will be shortly engaging with investment bankers for a potential raise of up to $200 million,” the airline had said in a press release last month.

The budget carrier is also said to be in talks with potential investors for a likely stake sale. SpiceJet’s promoter Ajay Sigh and his family hold 59.4 percent stake in the airline. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday extended the 50 per cent restriction on SpiceJet flights till October 29.