Friday, July 24, 2020

Amid lull, airlines cut staff at Chennai airport

Chennai: Airlines, ground handling companies and retail companies have started to either cut staff or put many of their employees on leave without pay at Chennai airport as the number of flights a day is still low because of concerns over the spread of Covid-19.

Sources said that more than 500people have lost jobs across departments in airlines and other agencies in the last month because of the restrictions in flight schedules imposed by the state government. Around 200 people across all departments were laid off by one airline alone.

SpiceJet with the second largest schedule from Chennai has kept many of its employees on compulsory wait without pay till the situation improves.

IndiGo, which is the biggest airline, has sent out notices to its ground staff and cabin crew saying that it is going to start a layoff programme to cut 10% of the workforce as it is operating only a small percentage of its full fleet of 250 planes.

In a letter to employees, IndiGo has said that "We are therefore, for the first time in our history, taking the very painful step of initiating a layoff programme." The airline is, however, offering its employees career transition support and also has promised to reach out to them when the situation improves.

Many of its staff at Chennai airport have been cut as the airline does not need the existing staff strength to operate 10 to 12 flights daily.

As the state government has not allowed the schedules to be increased, the airlines are finding it difficult to maintain the staff. There are only 25 to 30 departures at the airport on most days. Already, many have placed their ground staff on leave without pay and pilots are being paid only if they have flying duty. More than 300 people lost their jobs early this month at the airport across all firms.
24/07/20 Times of India
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