NEW DELHI: SpiceJet on Wednesday said it has revised the salary structure for its pilots and increased their monthly remuneration to Rs.7 lakh a month for 80 hours of flying. The hike will be applicable from next month.
“The salaries will be hiked from November 1. Following the latest hike, the salary of Captains at SpiceJet will be higher as compared to their pre-Covid salary,” the airline spokesperson said.
“Salaries of trainers and senior first officers have also been increased commensurately,” the spokesperson added.
A former airline pilot, however, suggested that pilots may not be able to fly 80 hours every month.
“Completing 80 hours of flying means at least 25 days of flying with around four landings in a day. This can be done for a month, if one attempts to do their best, provided the flight operations are normal, but flying 80 hours every month is a difficult task. A pilot attempting to fly 80 hours every month will lose their health apart from being stressed,” he said.
An aviation industry expert added that the 80 hour-benchmark can be achieved by pilots flying ultra-long-haul flights, say to the US and Canada, but was exhausting for pilots flying domestic. “This criteria would be manageable if it would be 60-70 hours instead of 80,” the expert added.
SpiceJet officials claimed that the airline has been consistently increasing the base salary of pilots. “As compared to August, the September salary saw an increase of up to 10% for trainers and 8% for Captains and for officers (co-pilots). From October, salary was hiked by another 22% for Captains and First Officers,” one official said.
It was also pointed out that pilots flying for 70 hours in a month will also see an increase from ₹4.5 lakh to Rs. 6.13 lakh as per the internal communication shared with the employees.”
SpiceJet last month sent many pilots and co-pilots on leave without pay. Forty pilots and 40 co-pilots flying Boeing 737s were sent on leave without pay starting September 20 for three months, and were not given any reason for it.
The airline had then clarified that the pilots will remain eligible for all other employee benefits such as insurance benefits and employee leave travel during the furlough period. It is a temporary measure to rationalise cost, it said, adding that the leave without pay would not affect the airline’s operations.