Amid increased attempts by Gulf and rival domestic airlines to poach highly-skilled commanders, SpiceJet, the country’s second-largest budget carrier, has given a huge salary hike of around Rs 1.25 lakh-a-month to its 200-odd captains.
While the basic monthly salary of a captain has been increased from Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 5.45 lakh, the Ajay Singh-led airline has also introduced a slew of allowances such as layover, deputation and allowances for fifth and sixth landings, which have considerably increased the pay package of its commanders.
The average industry pay package for captains is around Rs 5.5 lakh per month.
As reported by HT on May 28, cash-rich Gulf carriers — mainly Etihad and Qatar Airways — have poached over 100 pilots, mainly senior captains from Indian airlines in the last six months, which has prompted carriers into giving huge hikes to its captains.
IndiGo gave a salary hike of up to 13% (around Rs 1 lakh-a-month) to its pilots, HT reported on July 6.
“Cash-rich Gulf carriers have been hiring pilots, cabin crew and engineers in droves to cater to their ever-increasing fleets. Tax-free salary, company housing, schooling and medical expenses borne by the airline make Gulf carriers so attractive,” said aviation expert Subhash Goyal.
SpiceJet, whose flight operations chief SPS Suri was previously Air India’s head of operations, will also see around hundred pilots join the airline in the next six months as it adds 1-2 planes a month to its fleet.