SpiceJet Sends 80 Pilots On 'forced' Leave Without Pay
SpiceJet's current and some former employees said that this is the first time the airline has sent pilots on forced leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SpiceJet has sent 80 of its pilots on leave without pay for three months. The Gurugram-based airline said on Tuesday that the move was taken as a temporary measure to harmonize costs. SpiceJet said in a statement, "This measure is in line with the airline's policy of not firing any employee. Even during the Kovid epidemic, the airline did not fire employees. With this move, the number of pilots will be harmonized with the fleet of aircraft.
The pilots sent on 'forced' leave without pay belong to the airline's Boeing and Bombardier fleet. A pilot told PTI, "We are aware of the financial crisis of the airline, but this sudden decision has shocked us. There is also uncertainty about the financial position of the company after three months. There is no assurance given that the pilots sent on leave will be called back.
SpiceJet's current and some former employees said that this is the first time the airline has sent pilots on forced leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A former SpiceJet employee said foreign pilots were sacked due to the pandemic, while crew members have been sent on leave without pay more than once since 2020. Apart from this, the salary of the employees has also been cut.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet said in a statement that it has added over 30 aircraft to its fleet in 2019 after the induction of 737 MAX aircraft. The airline has continued to recruit pilots in the hope that Max planes will be back in operation soon. But for a long time, Max aircraft have been standing, and due to this now the number of pilots has increased. The statement said that Max aircraft will soon rejoin the fleet. Along with this, the pilots will be called to work again.