Wednesday, April 29, 2020

SpiceJet to only pay cargo flight pilots for hours-flown; no salaries for April, May

SpiceJet told its pilots on Wednesday that they will not be paid salaries for the month of April and May, except those who have been operating cargo flights will get paid only for “block hours flown”.

SpiceJet’s flight operations chief Gurcharan Arora told pilots through an email, “as of today, 16 per cent of our aircraft and 20 per cent of our pilots are flying”.

“We are doing this by flying our five cargo aircraft and also flying more ‘cargo on seat’ on our passenger aircraft,” he said. The budget carrier has a total of 116 passenger planes and five freight aircraft in its fleet.
India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus which has also put all commercial passenger flights suspended. Arora told pilots, “We will not be getting any salary for April and May 2020. Those of us who have been flying cargo, will get paid for the block hours flown.” Block hours is the duration of a pilot operating the flight.

News agency Press Trust of India reports, the email said: “Over the coming weeks, we intend to increase the number of aircraft flying (cargo+cargo on seat) to more than 50 per cent and the number of pilots flying to 100 per cent.”

The aviation consultancy firm CAPA, in its note in March had said, “By the end of May-2020, most airlines in the world will be bankrupt. Coordinated government and industry action is needed – now – if catastrophe is to be avoided.” Cash reserves are running down quickly as fleets are grounded and “what flights there are operate much less than half full”, it added.

“Forward bookings are far outweighed by cancellations and each time there is a new government recommendation it is to discourage flying. Demand is drying up in ways that are completely unprecedented. Normality is not yet on the horizon,” it said.
29/04/20 Statesman
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