SpiceJet Employees Oppose Proposed Salary Cut

SpiceJet employees have started an online petition against the airline’s management over proposed pay cuts. The news comes a day after the carrier announced that it would be deferring up to 50% of employee salaries for April. SpiceJet has found itself in a tough economic spot as domestic demand crashes due to the second wave.

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Cash-strapped SpiceJet has implemented some of the steepest pay cuts for all its employees. Photo: Getty Images

Opposition

According to Business Standard, SpiceJet employees have started an online petition against management over the recent pay cuts. The petition includes details about the massive salary deferrals and highlights the extreme danger employees are putting themselves in while flying during this second wave.

The salary deferrals range from 10-50%, depending on the pay scale currently applied to employees. The only staff exempt from the cuts are juniormost employees in the lowest pay grade. Many employees report that they have the highest cut of 50% being applied to their April salaries.

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SpiceJet’s operations have been impacted heavily by the second wave, which has seen traffic drop over 50% in just a month. Photo: Getty Images

SpiceJet has been quick to emphasize that the recent decision is a “deferral” and not a “pay cut.” This means that all staff will receive their full salaries as back pay in the future once the situation improves. However, it’s unclear when the airline will be financially capable of paying back previous salaries considering the current environment.

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Crisis

As reported by Simple Flying yesterday, daily domestic passengers have fallen by over 50% from the start of April to the end of the month. Numbers had already begun falling from over 300,000 daily flyers at the peak in early March as cases began ticking up across India. However, since the middle of April, cases in India have exploded, severely impacting airlines.

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Facing its second economic crisis in under a year, SpiceJet is taking extreme measures to survive. Photo: Getty Images

SpiceJet is quickly seeing economic pressure due to falling revenues, with the airline saying in an internal mail,

“The deadly Covid-19 second wave has resulted in the country’s worst-ever crisis with the aviation sector again bearing the biggest brunt. Unfortunately, we have been forced to implement certain tough measures to secure the long-term interest of the SpiceJet family. There will be no salary cut for any employee. However, under these extreme and unavoidable circumstances we are enduring, we are forced to implement a graded salary deferment for some of our employees.”

Employees hurting

For SpiceJet employees, the situation is reminiscent of the same time last year. Last April, the airline stopped paying its pilot’s salaries for two months and only paid them for hours flown. All other employees also saw salary delays and pay cuts due to the grounding of all passenger flights. Just one year later, employees once again face salary reductions as the airline struggles to cope with the second wave.

The coming months will likely remain challenging for SpiceJet as India’s second wave shows no signs of subsiding. For now, the airline is hoping to remain afloat as the business continues to bleed cash.

What do you think about SpiceJet’s decision to cut salaries? Let us know in the comments.

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