Indigo lays off 10% staff to tide over crisis in aviation sector, calls decision ‘unfortunate’
The airline said despite taking several measures like implementing pay cuts and putting in place mandatory leave without pay for employees, it has not been able to sustain business amid the Covid-19 pandemic.Updated: Jul 20, 2020 19:54 IST
Private airline Indigo, the country’s largest airline by market share, has decided to lay off 10% of its total workforce, citing financial trouble due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Indigo CEO Ronojoy Dutta announced on Monday.
The airline said despite taking several measures like implementing pay cuts and putting in place mandatory leave without pay for employees, it has not been able to sustain business amid the pandemic.
Indigo has created a special package for those employees who will be affected by the current decision to reduce staff strength. Staff who will be laid off will be paid for their notice period on their gross salary.
“Currently, Indigo is flying only a small percentage of its full fleet of 250 airplanes. For us, it was critical to minimise the impact of the pandemic on our employees and in fact Indigo was one of the few airlines globally which paid full salaries for the month of March and April 2020, despite the disruption in business. Subsequently, we did have to undertake a number of measures such as Pay Cuts, Leave Without Pay but these cost savings are clearly not enough to offset the decline in revenues,” CEO Ronojoy Dutta said in a statement.
He added that it was impossible for the company to fly without making some sacrifices, in order to sustain business operations. “It is clear that we will need to bid a painful adieu to 10 per cent of our workforce. It is for the first time in the history of Indigo that we have undertaken such a painful measure. This is indeed a very unfortunate turn of events from the optimistic growth trajectory we had carved out for ourselves just six months ago; but this pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate our best laid plans,” Dutta said.
On March 31, 2019, the airline had a total of 23,531 employees on its payroll.
Globally, the aviation sector has been hit hard by the spread of coronavirus since most countries had imposed lockdown and suspended international flights earlier in the year. In India, too, domestic flights had been grounded for almost two months during a nationwide lockdown imposed from March 24. Domestic flights to a few cities, however, resumed in a staggered manner from May 25.