Kingfisher Airlines cuts salaries of trainee pilots

October 18th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) The turbulence in India’s aviation sector is far from over. Private carrier Kingfisher Airlines Saturday announced it was reducing the salaries of its 50 trainee co-pilots.”With a view of tiding over the ongoing turbulence in the aviation industry, the airline has effected a downward revision in the emoluments of a small pool of 50 trainee co-pilots,” an airline spokesman said here Saturday.

“They will continue to remain on the payroll of the company and will enjoy full benefits and privileges,” he added.

The airline has, however, spared pilots and other ground staff of salary cuts, said the official.

Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya Oct 15 said he would not lay off anyone at present, unlike Jet Airways, which had decided to fire 1,900 employees but later retracted However, Jet employees too fear that their salaries would be slashed.

Trainee co-pilots do not fly aircraft but perform ground handling duties, besides helping the pilots in the cockpit. They possess a commercial pilot license (CPL) and will be allowed to fly aircraft after a few years’ experience.

The pay cuts follow the strategic alliance between between Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines Oct 13.

The Kingfisher official said every employee was aware of the situation in the industry and salary cut was now a reality.

Recently, the airline grounded some of its aircraft and cut several flights to overcome its operational losses. The airline has also deferred or cancelled the deliveries of new aircraft.

According to airline sources, there are about 1,500 trainee pilots in India. Till an year ago, trainee pilots were in great demand and soon after the completion of their traineeship could easily fetch a starting monthly package of Rs.250,000-plus with additional perks.

But now the scene is changing as the aviation industry is facing economic crisis.

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