India’s Most Preferred airline, SpiceJet has announced that it had made the temporary decision to put some pilots on leave without pay (LWP) for three months.
This move has been taken into consideration to reduce costs. The pilots who have been forced to go on leave without pay are from the airline’s Boeing and Bombardier fleets.
The airline said, “In a temporary measure to rationalize costs, SpiceJet has decided to place certain pilots on leave without pay for a period of three months.”
“This measure, which is in line with SpiceJet’s policy of not retrenching any employee which the airline steadfastly followed even during the peak of the Covid pandemic, will help rationalize the pilot strength vis-a-vis the aircraft fleet,” the airline added.
It said, “SpiceJet had in 2019 inducted more than 30 aircraft following the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft. The airline had continued with its planned pilot induction program in the hope that the MAX would be back in service soon.”
“However, the prolonged grounding of the MAX fleet resulted in a large number of excess pilots at SpiceJet”, it further added.
The airline assured, “We will be inducting MAX aircraft shortly and these pilots will be back in service as the induction begins.”
“During the LWP period, pilots will remain eligible for all other employee benefits as applicable, all opted insurance benefits, and employee leaves travel,” the airline further assured.
Earlier, The airline is allegedly defaulting on depositing tax deducted at source (TDS) with authorities and allegedly not depositing PF in employee accounts. It is also reportedly defaulting on some statutory payments too.
The airline has earlier delayed August salaries. It is yet to give employees Form 16 for fiscal 2021-22 due to which they are facing issues in filing tax returns.
SpiceJet employees have also claimed there was a delay in disbursal of July month salary for staff. The employees have often faced stress issues due to financial irregularities.
SpiceJet is currently operating fewer than 50 per cent of flights following the July 27 order of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the wake of a spate of incidents.