Mumbai: Low fare carrier GoAir is asking a chunk of its employees to go on rotational leave without pay as the Coronavirus crisis makes a significant dent on the travel and airline business in India and the world.
ET reported it first online on Tuesday evening. An airline spokesman subsequently confirmed it in a statement.
GoAir said it has “initiated a short term and temporary rotational leave without pay program that will not only help the company counter the short term reduction in capacity, but will also ensure that a cross section of our employees stay away from the workplace to ensure business continuity,”
The airline is also suspending its international operations between March 17 and April 15, it said. The airline operates to Dammam, Kuwait, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bangkok, Phuket and Male.
A person in the know said the percentage of staff asked to go on leave could be as high as 35%. It may be higher for support staff and expats. He also alluded to possible salary cuts.
GoAir didn’t give any specifics in the email. Earlier March, Emirates asked its employees to go on leave without pay.
The worldwide crisis has annihilated businesses across the world and forced airlines to ground operations. Sydney-based consultant CAPA-Centre for Aviation Monday said most airlines will be bankrupt by end of May.
“Coordinated government and industry action is needed – now – if catastrophe is to be avoided,” it said.
Emirates earlier this month asked its staff to go on leave without pay. Others such as Singapore Airlines and United Airlines have implemented pay cuts especially at the higher levels.
Saying GoAir was aware of the “financial burden” on the affected employees, the spokesperson the airline along with others” have petitioned the Government of India for immediate support, as most other governments around the world have already provided to their similarly affected airlines,” US carriers have asked the government for a $50 billion bailout.