The situation for the employees of national carrier Air India was no different when lockdown impacted the monthly payslips.
10 per cent salary cut was announced from March onwards, as during national lockdown the air travel remained suspended too.
But now debt-ridden Air India is exploring other options to reduce its cost.
- Air India is planning to reduce the guaranteed flying hours, on the basis of which allowance is paid, from 70 to 30-35 hours for pilots.
Air India pilots are entitled to a guaranteed flight allowance of 70 hours and overtime, apart from the basic pay.
- “The Ministry of Civil Aviation has received a proposal to reduce the guaranteed 70 hour flight allowance. The suggestion is to reduce it to 30-35 flight hours.” A senior Air India official, on condition of anonymity, told Times Now.
This can significantly reduce the monthly salary for Air India pilots. The flight allowance accounts for almost 70% of a pilot’s salary.
This pandemic is proving to be quite cruel for civil aviation. There are no or very few flights for pilots and crew members to pay for reductions, and Air India management is now considering reducing allowances.
The ICPA (Indian Commercial Pilots Association) told Air India management in a meeting last week that payment of actual flight hours was not accepted. Captain T. Praveen Keerthi, Secretary General of the ICPA, told Times Now: “We are ready to cut wages, but this should be done across the board.”
The ICPA requires that every airline employee, regardless of grade, provides for a percentage reduction in gross compensation to reduce costs. This step to target the flight allowance would further burden pilots.
Air India officially refused to comment on the issue.
- When asked about the proposal, Air India spokesman said, “We don’t want to comment”, as per Time Now statement.
There are around 1800 pilots in Air India and allowance for April, May & June is yet to be paid.
From pay cuts to sending employees on unpaid leaves to retrenchment, this sector has seen a lot since the pandemic started. No one knows when this uncertainty will end.
- Meanwhile, Alexandre de Juniac, CEO, International Air Transport Association, IATA said, ‘Indian airlines could lose up to 47% of their revenue in 2020.’
Hence various cost-cutting measures are being considered as no one knows when the situation will start getting better. The coronavirus cases are only moving northwards, infact in just 18 days of June India has reported 52% of total cases in India.
IATA feels more help from the government would be required if the situation continues to worsen.
(Source – Times Now)