INDIA’S LARGEST airline IndiGo Thursday reversed its decision announced last month to cut salaries of its employees despite facing financial pressures due to flight restrictions on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
In March, the airline had announced across the board pay cuts of up to 25 per cent, citing a “precipitous drop in revenues” that threatened the very survival of the airline industry.
According to company sources, IndiGo chief executive Ronojoy Dutta wrote to the airline’s staff Thursday informing them of the reversal in decision on account of the “government’s wishes of not reducing pay during the lockdown”. Consequently, the staff will be paid full salaries for the month of April. However, Dutta informed the staff that executive committee members and those above senior vice-president level have volunteered to take the pay cuts for April.
Concurrent with the countrywide lockdown, airlines are not allowed to operate any scheduled commercial flight on domestic or international routes till May 3.
IndiGo’s decision stood out among its competitors in the domestic sector, most of which have either reduced the salaries of employees or have furloughed them.
Airlines — which have a high-fixed cost model — have been trying to reduce costs to survive, given that revenue generation has now been limited to cargo operations for Indian carriers.
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