Vistara has asked a third of its staff to go on leave without pay for a period of up to three days between 15-30 April, in a bid to lower costs while its operations stand grounded.
The aviation sector is badly affected by its grounding as revenue loss of the aviation industry spread across airlines, airports, and retail is estimated to be $1 billion-1.5 billion per month of lockdown, according to industry estimates.
India’s aviation industry is expected to post losses of $3-3.6 billion in the June quarter because of COVID-19, with airlines sharing the bulk of the hit, aviation consultancy firm Capa India had said in a report last week. It also revealed that the sector, battered by the pandemic, is also expected to see sharp declines in both domestic and international passenger traffic.
As a result, most airlines have initiated cost structuring which includes salary cuts for its employees. Vistara has asked senior management to go on leave without pay for six days during April, three days between 1-15 April, and another three days during the later period of the month.
According to media reports, about 30 percent of the senior and mid-level staff, which is about 1,200 people, have been affected by this cost-cutting decision. A Vistara spokesperson said that the airline has taken various steps to conserve cash including sending a portion of staff on leave without pay during the lockdown.
Requesting anonymity, a Vistara official confirmed in a media, "As part of a number of steps we are taking to conserve cash and save costs, we had to make the difficult decision of further reducing our staff costs with the objective of preserving jobs.”
It was also revealed that for the period between 15 - 30 April 2020, about 30 percent of Vistara's workforce will take compulsory no-pay leave of one to three days, depending on employment grades (three days for senior-most employees).