Just lately, a former pilot of SpiceJet Vinodh Loganathan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to repair the protection hazard attributable to the coronavirus-hit SpiceJet. A skilled pilot with 9 years of expertise, Loganathan via the letter mentioned that because the pandemic started in March 2020, SpiceJet has hardly paid the cabin crew and pilots.
This, in line with him, has led to pilots and cabin crew turning into financially pressured who aren’t in a way of thinking to function plane. “A financially pressured set of crew is a flight security risk, and since they don’t seem to be in the correct way of thinking, a crash can occur anytime. The world shouldn’t overlook the Germanwings incident, which occurred not so way back. SpiceJet, within the present state, is a flying coffin and the general public ought to be cautious about flying SpiceJet,” mentioned Loganathan in his written letter.
In 2015, a Germanwings pilot allegedly crashed an Airbus A320-211 intentionally into the French Alps. Earlier than that, the well-known Malaysian Airways’ flight MH370 disappeared in 2014 and was believed to be deliberately downed by its pilot.
Whereas talking to Enterprise Immediately, Loganathan mentioned he left the airline in February after he requested the airline to pay his wage. “Put up pandemic, they stopped paying salaries to many pilots. No one was asking for the complete wage, however they did not even pay after pay cuts. I’ve been paid simply the flying allowance (of Rs 6,000 per flying hour). Regardless of sending 25-odd emails, HR hasn’t paid me the wage dues and gratuity even after over six months of quitting the job. They haven’t even deposited provident fund since April 2020. Anyone who asks for dues is pressured to resign similar to they tried to threaten me,” he mentioned.
Enterprise Immediately spoke with some pilots to substantiate the problem. In an interplay, a captain at present employed with SpiceJet confirmed that he, too, has not been paid dues for a number of months regardless of diligently performing his duties. “In SpiceJet, we’re underneath super strain to maintain quiet after our salaries had been diminished by 70-85 per cent in opposition to the usual 15-30 per cent pay discount in different airways. Threats of dismissal are making the staff fall again. We’re prone to shedding jobs if we increase our considerations overtly. Worse, the concern of getting boycotted within the aviation sector would render us jobless and damage our careers elsewhere,” he mentioned, on the situation of anonymity.
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One other former pilot, requesting anonymity, advised Enterprise Immediately that although the aviation business is on a restoration path, SpiceJet staff see no finish to their worsening situation, even within the close to future. “Many staff have needed to forgo their properties after they might not pay financial institution EMIs (equated month-to-month instalments). Confronted with trauma, SpiceJet crew employees of hundreds are nonetheless making an attempt to carry out their duties untold and unnoticed,” says this former worker.
In the meantime, SpiceJet spokesperson denies the allegation of non-payment of salaries since April 2020. “Like airways worldwide, SpiceJet launched a revised pay construction for its flying crew final yr and has been paying them accordingly. There was no default on any statutory funds [provident fund] and this info is totally unsuitable,” mentioned the corporate spokesperson.
As of March 2021, SpiceJet employed 14,619 folks. Within the first three months of FY22, the airline reported Rs 731.12 crore of consolidated internet loss, with Rs 3,298.72 crore of detrimental price. From a degree when the airline was providing high-end vehicles as perks to staff some years in the past, the final 18 months have been tough for the service. Though the airline was financially weak earlier than the pandemic, the double whammy of Covid and the grounding of Boeing 737 Max put the airline in a decent spot.
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