Indigo announces salary cuts, leave without pay for pilots as changed environment forces industry to deploy fewer flights

India’s largest domestic carrier IndiGo on Tuesday introduced an additional 5.5 days of “leave without pay” per month for its pilots, effective July. IndiGo had implemented one to five days of leave without pay in May. The new move will effectively take the total number of “no pay days” to ten.

The carrier has also implemented fresh salary cuts for some of the pilots. “There will also be a salary revision for under training transition captains and transition first officers and that would be communicated by the HR team,” the airline stated.

The airline will review the leave without pay policy on a month to month basis given the “fluidity of the situation,” indicating that the tough times for the employees are likely to continue.

Currently, the airline is operating at 30% capacity or nearly 400 flights daily. “We have reached the situation where we have to adjust to the changed environment where we have to currently deploy lesser number of flights,” the airline further added.

“IndiGo was one of the few airlines globally to give out full salaries in the months of March and April, despite business disruption. We employed the first pay cut in May, followed by leave without pay. Given the current capacity utilization, we have had to announce further leave without pay for pilots, which is a temporary measure. It will be reviewed on the basis of changes in our operational capacity,” a spokesperson of the airline said.

IndiGo management had told analysts in a post-earnings conference call early this month that it plans to reduce costs further, and in that regard, plans to save 25% on employee expenses.