IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta announced that the airline will remove its leave without pay (LWP) program for senior employees from January 1 next year as it expects improved revenues.
On account of coronavirus-induced travel restrictions, Dutta in May this year had said that a "limited and graded LWP program" was being implemented for all employees apart from the ones falling in the lowest group Level A. The LWP implemented by IndiGo from May ranged from 1.5 to five days depending upon the employee group.
On May 8, IndiGo had also implemented pay cuts for its senior employees ranging from 5-25 percent. The pay cuts are still in place.
In an email sent to employees, Dutta said, "At this point of time, it looks like we are on a path to a graduated and measured recovery, and we are hopeful that the government will allow us to fly 100 percent of our domestic capacity by early next year."
Indian airlines are currently allowed to operate a maximum of 80 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.
Meanwhile, IndiGo’s losses sequentially narrowed in the September quarter to Rs 1,195 crore from Rs 2,845 crore, as it operated more flights. Its finance chief Aditya Pande said the airline added Rs 3,000 crore as liquidity with several measures including saving on salary expenses.
Dutta added that the airline was flying 60% of its total capacity, and aims to reach 80% by December. While the outlook for international traffic continues to be challenging and is a matter of some concern, he noted that the airline is still moving in the right direction.
"It is now time for employees to rally together and ensure that the airline is profitable by the first half of next year," he added.
The aviation sector has been hit hard due to the travel restrictions that have been imposed amid the pandemic. All airlines have taken cost-cutting measures like pay cuts, LWP, etc. to survive this period. In this direction, Indigo’s step to remove the LWP scheme is a small step in the direction towards stabilization.