NEW DELHI: SpiceJet has sent 80 pilots — 40 of Boeing 737 and as many of turboprop Q400 — on leave without pay for three months as the airline has been running a truncated schedule of flights and has so far not seen any recapitalisation. The regulator had earlier this summer truncated the budget carrier’s flights to half of the approved schedule and had ordered any scaling up of operations will be allowed only when SpiceJet can show it has the resources to safely do so.
A SpiceJet spokesperson said: “In a temporary measure to rationalise cost, SpiceJet has decided to place certain pilots on leave without pay for a period of three months. This measure, which is in line with SpiceJet’s policy of not retrenching any employee, will help rationalise pilot strength. SpiceJet had in 2019 inducted more than 30 aircraft following the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft. The airline had continued with its planned pilot induction program in the hope that the MAX would be back in service soon. However, the prolonged grounding of the MAX fleet resulted in a large number of excess pilots at SpiceJet.”
“We will be inducting MAX aircraft shortly and these pilots will be back…. ,” the spokesperson added.