The largest airline in India, IndiGo, has raised pilot pay by an additional 8% as it observes a pickup in traffic. Additionally, it has restored pilot overtime pay to its pre-Covid level.
The airline is also reintroducing a work schedule for pilots under which they will earn more money but take fewer vacation days in order to enhance aircraft utilisation.
The airline plans to operate 1,550 flights per day on average in July, using its fleet for about 13 hours.
2020 saw the implementation of a 28% pay reduction for pilots by Indigo. When the airline announced an 8% salary increase adjustment in April, it was largely overturned. With Thursday’s notification, a total of 16% of pilots’ salaries have been reinstated.
Additionally, effective of July 31, the airline has brought back the pilots’ layover and deadhead allowances.
Since pilots are dissatisfied that their pre-Covid wage has not been fully restored, the topic of pilot salaries has become a contentious one for India’s largest airline.
Pilots are still unhappy despite a partial restoration of their pay raises since IndiGo is now running more than 1,600 flights every day, which is more than it did before Covid-19 suspended travel.
On July 2, IndiGo’s flights experienced delays on more than half of its scheduled routes due to a high number of sick calls from the cabin staff. The crew members allegedly conducted job interviews elsewhere, which interfered with the airline’s operations.
Pilots want salary cuts to be reversed as the demand for air travel rises and airlines can use more of their fleet. Pilot dissatisfaction across airlines persists despite the partial restoration of pay, which poses problems for managers.
When compared to the pre-Covid level, employee salaries of Air India have been recovered by about 75% under the ownership of Tata Group. Vistara, a different airline operated by the Tata Group, restored the pay and benefits of its pilots to their pre-pandemic levels.
SpiceJet reportedly increased the pay for its captains and first officers by 10% and 15%, respectively, according to internal communication. The increase in pay for trainers at SpiceJet is 20%.
“Airlines are returning to their pre-Covid levels of operation; but, our duty hours have grown dramatically and, in some circumstances, have become even busier”A senior commander questioned
“So why not reinstate full salary?” pointing out that airlines had done the same for workers in other divisions.
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