Low-cost carriers seem to be coping much better at a time when full service carriers are struggling to stay afloat in turbulent times.
The new generation low cost carriers, despite high cost of aviation turbine fuel, have neither dished out pink slips nor have they resorted to cost cutting measures like scaling down the salaries of pilots or crew.
“Industry watchers chose to write the obituary of the low cost model while the going was tough. But if you look at the full picture, the low cost carriers are the ones that have not defaulted on the dues either to the oil companies or the Airports Authority of India,” Siddhantha Sharma, executive director of Interglobe, that runs low cost carrier Indigo said.
Sharma further said that IndiGo with a fleet of 19 aircraft and a pool of nearly 210 pilots, is sticking to its projections and delivery schedule for aircraft only because the low cost model has been able to brave the rough weather.
“None of the low cost carrier had to resort to retrenchment, route or staff rationalisation,” Sharma said.
Similarly, SpiceJet with its fleet of 15 aircraft and a total of 180 commanders and first officers has also been able to steer clear of the rough weather, largely because of optimum crew and fleet utilisation.
“Our induction has been gradual. The number of flights has remained the same and so has the number of pilots and that is why we never had to resort to cost cutting measures,” Surajit Banerjee, vice president human resource with the airline said.
As opposed to these, full service carrier Kingfisher has slashed salaries of commaders and trainee pilots as cost-cutting measure.
“With a view to tiding over the ongoing turbulence in the aviation industry and keeping in mind the reduction in capacity deployed, Kingfisher Airlines has effected a downward revision in emoluments of a small pool of 50 trainee co-pilots,” the airline had said.