A service engineer with Air India died of a massive cardiac arrest on Thursday evening.
Colleagues claim that Vijay Sonawane, 49, was under stress as he had not received his salary from the airline.
The national career has allegedly not paid salaries to its employees since April. “Sonawane was very anxious about his daughter’s admission fees, to be paid in the coming week,” said a member of the All India Service Engineers’ Association, on the condition of anonymity.
Sonawane’s daughter had recently cleared her Class 10 exams. Pilots and engineers also said that the anxiety over the non-payment of their salary had resulted in undue mental stress, which was worrisome as it could be a source of distraction during flights.
“Just hours before his demise, Sonawane had called a few of his colleagues to check on the payment of his salary. We are all surviving on monthly installments, and this delay and uncertainty in salaries for April and May has led to us defaulting in other financial commitments,” added the association member.
Recently, the cash-strapped airline faced a 10-day strike by one of the pilots’ associations, which had caused cancellation of 1,600 flights and a revenue loss of about Rs 150 crore to the company. The airline declined comment.