NEW DELHI: IndiGo is removing leave without pay (LWP) from all departments in the New Year. With domestic air travel gradually recovering — while international flights are happening under air bubbles and Vande Bharat Mission — the airline has taken this decision in anticipation of improved revenues.
IndiGo’s compulsory LWP, which started from June, currently ranges up to 10 days a month for different section of employees and is part of an across the board pay cut. The airline, which in pre-Covid times had about 24,000 employees, had laid off 10% of its employees (except any pilot) during the pandemic to cut costs.
On Thursday the government allowed airlines to operate 80% of their pre-Covid level of domestic flights. IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta told employees in a mail the same day that he hopes the airlines will be allowed to 100% of their pre-Covid level early next year.
“What a tumultuous year this has been… 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% of our domestic capacity by early next year. The outlook for international traffic continues to be challenging, and is a matter of some concern. While we are not yet out of the woods, we are certainly moving in the right direction,” Rono, as he is known in the industry, says in his mail.
While applauding employees for this recovery, he says there is a “need to recognise that the last six months were genuinely unsettling, as we lost a large sum of money… we need to once again rise to the occasion to stabilise this ship quickly…. (We must) ensure that we are profitable by the first half of next year. For us to be profitable, our revenue generation needs to increase sharply and substantially and the best way to do that is by offering a superior customer experience. A lot of things are uncertain and uncontrollable in this world, but what is certain is our ability to deliver the gold standard of customer service, such that high customer loyalty becomes a strong wind behind our sails,” he says.
Anticipating improved revenue, he tells employees IndiGo is “removing leave without pay across all departments from January 1, 2021.”