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SpiceJet sends pilots on leave without pay to 'rationalise' costs
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

SpiceJet sends pilots on leave without pay to 'rationalise' costs

| @indiablooms | 20 Sep 2022, 11:25 pm

SpiceJet has sent around 80 pilots on a three-month leave without pay to rationalise costs, as per reports.

The airline released a statement announcing the development but did not specify the numbers.

"In a temporary measure to rationalise costs, SpiceJet has decided to place certain pilots on leave without pay for a period of three months. This measure, which is in line with SpiceJet’s policy of not retrenching any employee which the airline steadfastly followed even during the peak of the Covid pandemic, will help rationalise the pilot strength vis-a-vis the aircraft fleet," the airline said.

According to an India Today report, pilots on Boeing and Q400 fleet have been asked to go on leave without pay.

The airline said the two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft between March 2019 to November 2020 pushed the company into further financial difficulties.

It said, "SpiceJet had in 2019 inducted more than 30 aircraft following the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft. 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, however, that the difficulties would be overcome soon.

"We will be inducting MAX aircraft shortly and these pilots will be back in service as the induction begins. During the LWP period, pilots will remain eligible for all other employee benefits as applicable, all opted insurance benefits, and employee leave travel," it assured.

Earlier this year, SpiceJet grappled with multiple air safety incidents, after which the Director General of Civil Aviation on July 27 ordered the airline to function only with 50 percent of its flights for the next eight weeks.

Even with that deadline approaching completion, SpiceJet in its satement on Tuesday said, "Even after placing certain pilots on leave without pay, SpiceJet will have sufficient number of pilots to operate its full schedule as and when the DGCA restriction on flights is lifted."

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