Air India begins restoring salaries to pre-pandemic levels gradually

Air India is restoring salaries of employees in a phased manner to pre-pandemic levels as the aviation sector is recovering with the decline of COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the airline’s official document.

The Indian aviation sector was badly hit due to the pandemic-induced travel restrictions during the last two years and therefore, all airlines in India had cut salaries. All Pilots available for flying will continue to be paid a fixed 20 hours of flying allowance or actuals, whichever is higher in a month.

Air India’s document said pilots’ flying allowance, special pay and wide-body allowance were cut by 35%, 40% and 40%, respectively, after the onset of the pandemic.

From April 1 this year, flying allowance, special pay and wide-body allowance of pilots are being restored by 20%, 25% and 25%, respectively, the document stated.

Cabin crew members’ flying allowance and wide-body allowance were cut by 15% and 20%, respectively, during the peak of the pandemic, the document noted. Flying allowance and wide-body allowance of cabin crew members are being restored by 10 and 5%, respectively, from April 1.

The allowances given to officers and other staff members were cut by 50% and 30%, respectively, during the pandemic, it mentioned.

While officers’ allowances are being restored by 25% from April 1, other staff members’ allowances are being restored to the pre-pandemic level from April 1, it noted.

Air India begins restoring salaries to pre-pandemic levels gradually

Gross emoluments given to Indian employees who are based at foreign locations were cut by 10% at a maximum of USD 300 during the pandemic, it said. These gross emoluments are being restored by 5% at a maximum of USD 150.

Similarly, India-based officers’ gross emoluments were cut by USD 300 during the pandemic, and it is being restored by USD 150 from April 1, it mentioned.

All the aforementioned components of salaries of employees will be restored to their pre-pandemic levels on April 1 next year, it said.

ALSO READ – Air India pilots request restoration of full pay and other benefits from N Chandrasekaran

“As the hope of a post-pandemic world seems within reach and the aviation sector takes off once again with some visible changes in our performance, we are happy to inform you that your salary cuts have been reviewed and the restoration of salaries will happen in a phased manner… changes will be implemented from April 1, 2022.

For pilots and cabin crew, international and domestic layover allowance remain unchanged and rates applicable in March 2022 will continue. For pilots, cabin crew and other employees – all specific allowances attached to a post or role and other contingent allowances remain unchanged and rates applicable in March 2022 will continue to be applicable.

All deductions will be reviewed again in coming few months and changes will be communicated to you… We will also be soon releasing pilot and cabin crew handbook with details on performance guidelines and other policies…As we embark upon this journey to make Air lndia a world-class airline, each of you is key to fulfilling this vision. With customer centricity, performance orientation, and accountability as our bedrock, let us all look ahead, fly higher and make Air India the best and most loved airline.”

Amrita Sharan, Personnel Director, Air India

This announcement comes days after the Air India pilot association – Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA)- had written to the new chief, Tata Sons’ Chairman N Chandrasekaran, to restore their emoluments. 

Meanwhile, Tatas have also begun reversing Air India employees’ steep pandemic-time pay cuts. Other airlines like IndiGo and Vistara have also partially rolled back pay cuts following widespread discontentment among employees.

ALSO READ – IndiGo partially restores pilot salaries by 8% from April 1

These airlines have promised to further review pay cuts in the coming months depending on business recovery and whether there are any more disruptions to traffic for any reason.

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