Friday, 8 May 2020

Temporary staff lay off without pay at IndiGo as the popular budget carrier starts cargo flights

One of India's largest airlines and a major player in the Asian low-cost-carrier sector, IndiGo has decided to request most of its staff take a period of unpaid leave each month from now on as it struggles to cope with a daman drop caused by the coronavirus CIOVID-19 pandemic.

The airline is asking the majority of staff to take around 5 days each month off on no pay and it is also going ahead with a wage cut for mid to top-level employees that had previously been announced but then cancelled.  These salary reductions will see around 25% sliced off the wages for top executives and around 15% removed from tits mid-level and senior-level workers. It doesn't know exactly how many staff will be asked and agree to the new leave without pay policy

The Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta emailed all staff with the announcement on Friday morning.  “As and when we resume operations, it is likely that the airline will start with a much lower capacity initially and gradually build up capacity in succeeding months,” Dutta hoped that most employees wouldn't be affected by the introduction of the leave without pay policy.

The budget airline, that has an almost 50% domestic market share has also been adapting its operations slightly in the wake of the virus.  It has flown three international cargo flights, to and from Singapore and Maldives in the last week or so.  Over 50 tonnes of cargo including pharmaceuticals, fruits and vegetables in the belly and cabin were transports on aircraft operating Mumbai-Male-Mumbai, Trivandrum-Male-Trivandrum on May 2nd and Mumbai-BengaluruSingapore-Mumbai on April 30th.

Dutta said: "We have been successfully using our A320 passenger aircraft in a ‘freighter mode’ helping maintain and support supply chains in and out of the country at this critical time. Having previously operated these CarGo flights to the Gulf region, we have now operated these flights to Singapore from Bangalore and to Maldives from Trivandrum and Mumbai.

While flying medical supplies, fresh vegetables and other export cargo, IndiGo continues to contribute and adapt its business to the needs of the hour”.

Mr Dutta further added, “We are grateful to the government for allowing to carry cargo in the cabin,

which has enabled these operations during the lockdown period.”

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