IndiGo - the biggest private airline in India will be formally laying off 10 per cent of its employees in a bid to offset the decline in its revenues after being struck by the COVID pandemic, and resultant lockdown in the country.
The IndiGo layoffs are a result of months of travel restrictions in India to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which severely hit its commercial operations drying its primary revenue source.
Confirming the same, Ronojoy Dutta, IndiGo CEO said, "From where things stand currently, it is impossible for our company to fly through this economic storm without making some sacrifices, in order to sustain our business operations."
"Therefore, after carefully assessing and reviewing all possible scenarios, it is clear that we will need to bid a painful adieu to 10 per cent of our workforce. It is the first time in the history of IndiGo that we have undertaken such a painful measure,'' the CEO was quoted saying by NDTV Profit.
However, the pilots employed with IndiGo, including the trainee pilots, won't be impacted by the company's decision to lay off 10 per cent of its employees.
Seconding the IndiGo CEO, advisory firm CAPA India in a twitter post said, "The decision by IndiGo to lay off 10% of its staff is the beginning of a painful process for Indian aviation as things start to unravel from the impact of COVID-19. It will be impossible to survive this crisis without a strong balance sheet."
Airlines Resort To Backdoor Retrenchment
With all commercial operations suspended and grounded due to COVID pandemic, several Airlines like the SpiceJet, Air India Ltd., AirAsia India, Go Air, Vistara etc. have resorted to layoffs and pay cuts to keep themselves afloat.
IndiGo may be the first to officially announce a layoff, while other airlines have resorted to removal of its employees through backdoor policies such as leave-without-pay or compulsory leave scheme.
Corroborating the same, Air India cabin crew has called out the 'compulsory leave scheme' of its management as a smokescreen for retrenchment by the backdoor and demanded that it be kept in abeyance.
The All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) has registered its protest with the Air India management concerning the same.