SpiceJet, the budget carrier, has hiked the salary packages of its Bombardier Q-400 fleet commanders by 20-25 per cent, bringing them on par with Boeing pilots, sources said.
The move is also aimed at arresting the increased migration of such pilots to the cash-rich gulf airlines, who offer attractive pay packages, they said.
The Gurgaon-based carrier currently has a fleet of 34 planes - 19 Boeing 737s and 15 Bombardier Q-400s operating over 235 daily domestic and international flights.
"World over, the salary packages of the pilots' depend on the type of aircraft they fly. But we have seen the Gulf carriers increasingly weaning away pilots of the smaller sized-planes from India because of the difference in the salary packages vis-a-vis the pilots of the wide-body planes," airline sources said.
The 20-25 per cent rise in their salaries has now removed this difference as far as the SpiceJet pilots are concerned, they said adding that "this would help us in retaining them with the airline".
SpiceJet has over 400 pilots and it has recently announced to hire 100 more pilots in view of its plans to increase its fleet size to 45-50 planes by March next year.
SpiceJet survived extinction early this year following the now promoter Ajay Singh coming to its rescue with a Rs 1,500 investment plan by acquiring the then promoter Maran family's entire 58.4 per cent holding under a revival plan.
Immediately after taking control of the airline, Singh pumped in Rs 500 crore in the carrier and infused another Rs 300 crore recently by way of low-cost debt and trade financing.