Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Vistara asks employees for leave without pay as coronavirus lockdown heightens woes of aviation

Tata SIA joint venture Vistara has asked its top management to go on leave without pay for few days in May and June as well as the airline industry reels under the pressure of coronavirus lockdown, Vistara CEO Leslie Thng on Tuesday directed senior employees to go on compulsory leave without pay (LWP) for up to four days each in the months of May and June as the airline looks to conserve its cash flow, PTI reported. Aviation industry is one of the worst hit sectors due to coronavirus lockdown as the world has imposed travel and flight restrictions. Most domestic airlines are now looking for ways to tide over the difficulties due to absolutely zero passenger traffic for over a month now.

Vistara has about 1,200 employees in senior grade and the airline had earlier also asked the top management for compulsory leave without pay for up to six days last month. The airline’s move will not affect about 2,800 remaining employees of the airline such as members of cabin crew and ground handling services will be unaffected. “We will continue with the difficult decision to reduce staff costs to preserve jobs,” Leslie Thng said in an email to employees, the news agency reported.
The government has been extending the lockdown for sometime now in the view of the coronavirus crisis. The country has been under a lockdown since the last week of March and the flight services have come to a grinding halt due to this. However, the airline industry already had its own woes to deal with such as technical issues relating to grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Earlier, major domestic airlines such as IndiGo and SpiceJet had asked their employees to bear salary cuts as financial pressures mount for the airlines. Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh puri recently said that “his heart goes out” to people who have been affected and assured that the government will soon lift flight restrictions.
05/05/20 Financial Express

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