Work less, take less salary, Air India tells its employees

Air India on Friday introduced a “shorter working week scheme” under which its permanent employees, except pilots and cabin crew members, can opt to work for three days a week at 60 per cent salary, said senior airline officials.

This measure has been introduced in order to improve the airline’s cash flow position amid the coronavirus pandemic, they added. “The permanent employee who opts for such a scheme can avail this for a period of one year,” the officials said.

The pandemic has impacted the aviation industry significantly, and all airlines in India have taken steps like cutting salaries of employees, firing employees to improve their cash flow. Some airlines rolled back their salary cut decision after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged private employers to not take harsh measures on their employees.

Air India officials said that the employees opting for the “shorter working week scheme” would not have the option to take any other employment during the remaining days of the week.

After a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, India resumed its domestic passenger flights from May 25 albeit in a curtailed manner. International passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country. Air India has been part of Vande Bharat Mission, adding new international routes. Later, IndiGo also joined Vande Bharat Mission.

After failing to disinvest from Air India two years ago, the central government restarted the process in January this year. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the process has slowed down.

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