CORONAVIRUS: SpiceJet cuts salaries

COVID-19 has affected air travel and pushed airlines into losses

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet said it has implemented a 10-30% pay cut for all its top- and mid-level employees with effect from March to cope with the situation arising from the spread of Coronavirus.

“In its bid to tide over the unprecedented crisis thrust by the COVID-19 pandemic, SpiceJet today announced a company-wide pay cut for its employees for the month of March, 2020,” it said.

The lowest pay grades will remain unaffected by the decision, the company said

Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh to a 30% cut in his salary.

“Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, SpiceJet has been forced to announce ‘leave without pay’ for employees during March 25th-31st, 2020 – the period of the lockdown when all passenger flights were suspended.

“However, employees who have been actively working during this period like our cargo, ground staff, crew who have flown during this time will not be affected by the ‘leave without pay’ and their salaries for this period will be reimbursed,” it added.

Companies are faced with the prospect of either cutting the number of employees or reducing pay to get over the problem of falling revenues due to the lockdown imposed by the government to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“The bold measures are in the best interest for everybody at SpiceJet as it aims to sail through the crisis with zero retrenchment,” it said.

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said the measures are to ensure that no one at SpiceJet is retrenched.

“What we are facing is a global phenomenon and no airline in the world is immune to the impact. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. SpiceJet was born of adversity and it is the same adversity that brings out the best in each and every one of us.”

The aviation industry, reeling from the impact of the global outbreak of COVID-19, is seeking help from governments to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic.

The US has already set apart hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out companies in the worst-affected sectors, including Aviation.

Indian companies have also sought assistance from the government. However, the government is unlikely to offer anything similar to what the US has come up with.

“Several airline companies, both in India and abroad, have been forced to undertake severe measures in their attempt to survive amidst tough market conditions,” Spicejet said.