Budget carrier SpiceJet will increase the salaries of pilots by 20 per cent in October, within days of asking about 80 pilots to go on leave without pay for three months as a temporary measure to rationalise costs, according to an internal communication of the carrier.
The airline has also got the first instalment of the ECLGS scheme and the management is working to raise an additional $200 million, the document showed. The October hike follows a salary increase of 6 per cent announced last month.
Airline sources said the carrier is optimally using its resources and paying its pilots market rate when half of its fleet is grounded. According to the communication, the airline has every month been working towards enhancing the base salary of its pilots with the salary of line captains increasing 6 per cent in August.
“Keeping with our commitment of increasing salaries in a calibrated manner as our business improves, the salary for October will see an increase of around 20 per cent for our captains and senior first officers,” said Captain Gurcharan Arora, SVP-Flight Operations, SpiceJet, in the internal communication.
The budget airlines had justified the three months without pay as a measure “in line with SpiceJet’s policy of not retrenching any employee which the airline steadfastly followed even during the peak of the Covid pandemic”. The move will help rationalise the pilot strength vis-a-vis the aircraft fleet, the budget carrier’s statement had read.