Salary issues resolved; donor cases won’t help anyone: head of SpiceJet
SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh said all wage issues have been resolved and employees are being paid on time. In an interview with PTI, Singh added that court cases filed by aircraft rental companies do not help anyone and that all disputes end up being settled.
On September 3, a section of SpiceJet employees began a short strike at Delhi airport over issues related to declining wages and their irregular payments.
Singh said SpiceJet had done well “to stay afloat in this crisis”. “We have built a new freight business. We are using this freight business to significantly reduce the responsibilities of the parent company,” the businessman told the agency.
Last month, the budget carrier introduced a new “interim fixed pay system” for captains and first officers. The goals of the new system, he said, are to have a pay structure that reflects fixed salary elements and other relevant elements. It will also allow the payment of a fixed minimum wage to all available pilots and those who fly more than the stipulated minimum hours will be paid overtime, the airline said.
However, some pilots have challenged the assurance given by SpiceJet and claimed “stress” because of the continued reduction in their wages implemented in April of last year.
The pilots claimed they were receiving a third or half of their pre-COVID-19 wages despite the company having achieved an occupancy rate of over 85% on passenger flights.
Singh said, “All salary issues have been resolved. Salaries are paid on time and in full. You know, this issue, the media has occasionally brought up, but every airline in the world has been challenged on it. wages, payments, etc. And all of these issues have always been resolved through negotiations. “
On the Goshawk case, Singh said, “Goshawk has gone to court against most of the airlines around the world. We will therefore try to find a settlement with Goshawk as well as with the other donors. All of these disputes end up in settlements.
This year, SpiceJet entered into an agreement with CDB Aviation and Avolon, two major lessors of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, during the August-September period of this year.
India’s aviation regulator, DGCA, lifted Max’s ban on August 26, 2021. SpiceJet has a fleet of 13 Max aircraft.
“We are working with the donors. We are trying to make sure that all the commercial arrangements are in place. But we hope that certainly until October and mid-November we will have most of the Max planes in. flight, “he added. Singh added.
Max was banned in most countries, including India, in March 2019 after two of them crashed between October 2018 and March 2019, killing a total of 346 passengers.
Speaking on the impact of Covid-19 on airlines, Singh said: “The airlines have suffered significant losses… This is what everyone has called an apocalyptic moment for the airlines.” He said airports should refrain from recovering all their lost revenue from airlines.
“We need to find a solution where the pain of COVID-19 is shared by all players in the industry and those in monopoly positions should not use these monopolies to transfer all the pain to the airlines,” Singh said.
However, he agreed that the situation is improving amid the decline in Covid-19 cases in the country. “The traffic is picking up. On average, we (the airlines in India) now carry 250,000 passengers per day, which is about 60% of what we were before COVID-19. So there are definitely signs of it. improvement and we are also hoping that the government will use this crisis to solve some of the problems that Indian carriers have been facing for several years, ”he added.
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