Senior pilots of budget carrier SpiceJet have a reason to cheer. Even as the company is struggling with various issues from fund crunch to repeated tech snags, of late, the Gurugram-based airline has announced salary hikes for its captains from November. The monthly revised salary will be more than the pre-Covid remuneration. "SpiceJet has announced a revised salary structure for its Captains increasing their monthly remuneration to ₹7 lakh-a-month for 80 hours of flying. The hike will be applicable from November 1, 2022. Following the latest hike, the salary of captains at SpiceJet will be higher as compared to their pre-Covid salary," SpiceJet says in a statement.
The no-frills carrier says the salaries of trainers (DE, TRI, LTC) and senior first officers have also been increased commensurately. SpiceJet says it 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 first officers. From October, the salary was hiked by another 22% for captains and first officers."
Amid the development, the SpiceJet stock surged 2.33% to ₹39.6 on the NSE today. The Ajay Singh-led domestic carrier has been struggling to remain afloat after a tough Covid period and intense competition in the aviation industry. As reported by Fortune India in September, the airline is scrambling for survival and is trying every trick in the book to bring in much-needed funds.
The cash-strapped airline saw its market share fall from 7.9% in August to 7.3% in September. The low-cost carrier flew 7.53 lakh passengers last month. The airline is reportedly looking at receiving an additional ₹1,000 crore under the revised Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). The funds will help the airline clear statutory dues and enforce major revival initiatives to boost profitability. Before this, SpiceJet had received ₹350 crore under the ECLGS.
In a huge relief to the aviation industry, the finance ministry this month enhanced the credit limit to airlines under the ECLGS, making them eligible for 100% of their fund-based or non-fund-based loan outstanding debt, up to ₹1,500 crore. Earlier, the scheme allowed the airlines to borrow up to 50% of their credit outstanding up to ₹400 crore but now they can avail of up to 100% of the credit.
SpiceJet has also been on the DGCA’s radar for negligence in flight operations for quite a while now. In light of repeated tech snags, the regulator on July 27 asked the airline to operate at a 50% capacity for eight weeks and later extended the curbs till October 29.
This week, the aviation regulator issued a series of directions to SpiceJet after reports of smoke inside an aircraft cabin on its Goa-Hyderabad flight on October 12, 2022. The airline had to make a full emergency landing in Hyderabad during the incident. Now, as part of the ongoing probe, the airline has been asked to send engine oil samples to Pratt & Whitney Canada for PW51A oil analysis to ascertain the presence of metal and carbon seal particles. It has also been asked to periodically draw engine oil samples after 15 days, instead of the present 30 days.