Budget carrier SpiceJet has informed its pilots that the company wouldn’t be paying salaries for April and May. However, those who have been operating cargo flights will get paid on the basis of “block hours flown”. The block hours refer to the duration a pilot operates the flight.

“We will not be getting any salary for April and May 2020. Those of us who have been flying Cargo, will get paid for the block hours flown,” SpiceJet’s flight operations chief Gurcharan Arora told pilots via an email.

“Over the coming weeks, we intend to increase the number of aircraft flying (Cargo + Cargo on Seat) to more than 50% and the number of Pilots flying to 100%,” Gurcharan Arora added.

There are 116 passenger planes and five freight aircraft in SpiceJet’s fleet. Of which only 16% aircraft and 20 per cent of pilots are flying.

Since March 24, most of the airline’s fleet is grounded, resulting in a debilitating cash crunch for the companies.

As the initial lockdown announcement was for 21 days, the airlines had taken bookings for flights from April 15. After the lockdown was extended to May 3, airlines had to refund for the cancelled flights. Shares of SpiceJet were trading at Rs 43, down 0.050, or 0.12 per cent on NSE at the time of reporting.

Another low-cost airline IndiGo which had plans of pay cut has however rolled back its decision for a large majority of its staff. Employees will receive their full salary for April except for senior executives who volunteered for pay cuts

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