New Delhi: Jet Airways, India’s second-largest airline by market share, plans to slash pay of dozens of its junior pilots by as much as 50 per cent in a cost-cutting move, according to two sources and letters seen by Reuters.
The airline, in letters sent to pilots earlier this month, has proposed they either take 30-50 per cent salary and stipend cuts, or quit, saying it was forced to take such steps as it was “intensely focused on fleet and network rationalisation”. The measures are to be implemented from August 1, and could impact up to 400 of Jet Airways’ roughly 1,500 pilots, two sources said.
“Certain developments in the market, including that of the Gulf region, as well as our continued efforts to enhance internal efficiencies, has resulted in the review of our network, fleet and crew utilisation,” a Jet spokesman said in an emailed statement. The spokesman said it has made some interim changes to its crew work patterns which will be reviewed in future, in line with network growth.
The sources asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. Jet Airways has struggled to keep a tight lid on costs in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets where competition from low-cost carriers is on the rise and is putting it under pressure. While India’s domestic passenger traffic rose 22 per cent in the fiscal year ended March 31, Jet Airways saw only 5 per cent growth and its market share fell to 18 per cent at the end of June from about 23 per cent two years ago, industry data showed. IndiGo controls about 40 per cent of the market.