Indian aviation struggles amid COVID-19 crisis

To fight against the COVID-19 crisis, the Indian Government took a drastic step by announcing the suspension of all International & Domestic flights until 14th April, 2020. This brought around uncertainty about the future of the country's aviation industry. The government has ordered that no airline must lay off its employees and during the lockdown all employees must be paid salary for the duration. According to IATA (International Air Transport Association) the airlines might lose a quarter of a trillion dollars in revenue this year.

A Vistara Boeing 787-9, the first of its kind in India. Photo by Preston Fiedler │ AeroNewsX

IndiGo (India’s largest airline in terms of passenger) announced that its CEO will take a 25% cut in his salary with other employees in high positions taking a pay cut of 20% while the cockpit crew is taking a cut of 15%. The domestic airlines seek urgent funding from government to pay 50% of their staff’s salaries for the next three months. Go Air had implemented leave without pay for a section of its employees and had also removed its foreign pilots to save cost. Vistara has implemented 1-3 days of leave without pay for all its employees and has also announced that it will not be giving its annual increments in July to its employees. National carrier, Air India, has announced that it would cut 10% of the allowance of all its employees.

Air Deccan (a regional airline) announced on Sunday that it will be ceasing all its operations until further notice and has put all its employees on sabbatical without pay.

With all these uncertainties, the Indian airlines have come forward to provide aircraft for transport of essential goods & supplies and also for rescue missions. SpiceJet recently operated a relief flight carrying 142 Iran-returned Indians from Delhi (India) – Jodhpur (India) where a quarantine facility was set up. 5 Boeing 737 freighters belonging to SpiceJet have been criss-crossing the country helping to transport essential commodities and medical supplies to fight COVID-19. IndiGo has announced that it is ready to deploy its aircraft for government use to fight against this deadly virus.

With this said we at AeroNewsX would like to take a moment and salute all who stand at the front line of this epidemic. This includes those who leave their families and friends and have been working tirelessly round the clock ensuring that we win this war against the COVID-19 virus. We ask all our readers to obey the directions laid down by the local authorities and stay safe.

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