Vistara has decided to introduce three days of leave without pay for its pilots in September amid the airline industry continuing to grapple with weak travel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an airline source. The three-days leave without pay (LWP) measure for pilots is in addition to a cut in monthly base flying allowance.
On June 30, the Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture carrier had announced a 5-10 per cent salary cut for 40 per cent of its 4,000-strong workforce till December. In a statement, a Vistara spokesperson confirmed that an additional measure of three-days LWP has been introduced.
"In anticipation of a stronger recovery which did not happen, the earlier decision of introducing a lower base flying allowance for pilots was reviewed and an additional measure of three-days Leave Without Pay for the month of September has been introduced. "Our priority remains to preserve jobs while optimizing cost in these unprecedented times," the spokesperson said.
The airline source said that "after long deliberations, the senior management decided to introduce a 3-days LWP for its all 500-odd pilots". The management also informed the pilots that the decision will be reviewed on a monthly basis, and if the situation improves, it may be adjusted as well, the source said.
Further, the source said the total effective salary cut for a pilot is likely to be between 27.93 per cent to 32 per cent, depending on whether the three-days gross reduction is on "our current pay or original pay". In June, Vistara CEO Leslie Thng announced that he was taking a 20 per cent pay cut from July to December 31, and was also implementing a monthly pay cut scheme for staff, except for pilots.
"For pilots, we will continue with the reduction of monthly base flying allowance to 20 hours for July to December 2020. Allowances will also be adjusted for pilots under certain categories of training," he had said.