Tough business takes a toll on airline CEO salaries

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 29 2013, 19:49pm hrs
Amid turbulent times in the aviation space, top executives of listed carriers have seen their salaries coming down, with low-cost SpiceJet's CEO taking the biggest cut.

Neil Raymond Mills, who quit as CEO of Spicejet this July, saw his annual pay coming down to Rs 3.32 crore in 2012-13, from Rs 4.97 crore in the preceding year, according to company's annual report. Mills had joined Maran group's airline venture in 2010.

It also said Spicejet's Managing Director S Natrajhen, however, saw his total remuneration rising to Rs 89.1 lakh during the last fiscal, from Rs 34.6 lakh in 2011-12.

Crisis-ridden Kingfisher's CEO Sanjay Aggarwal also saw a marginal dip in his salary to Rs 3.99 crore in 2012-13, from about Rs 4.01 crore in 2011-12, the airline's annual report said. Vijay Mallya-led UB Group's airline venture has incidentally remained grounded for almost a year now since it suspended operations in October 2012.

The third listed air carrier Jet Airways has not disclosed the salary of Nikos Kardassis, who resigned as its CEO in June 2013, in its latest annual report.

Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal earned a sitting fees of Rs 60,000 in 2012-13, unchanged from the last year's figures.

The airline's total payment towards remuneration to "key management personnel" fell to about Rs 51 lakh in 2012-13, from Rs 2.11 crore in the previous year.

The payment of Rs 51.4 lakh was made to Gaurang Shetty for his role as 'manager and director (executive)' for the period from May 24, 2012 to March 31, 2013, Jet disclosed in its annual report.

In the previous year 2011-12, Saroj Datta was paid Rs 2.11 crore, but he ceased to be a director with effect from September 30, 2011.

Jet paid its non-executive directors sitting fees of Rs 20,000 for each board and committee meeting attended by them.

"Due to the losses made by the company for the year ended March 31, 2013, no commission is payable to the non-executive directors for the financial year 2012-13," it noted.

Jet Airways had reported a net loss of Rs 495.53 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013 compared to loss of Rs 298.12 crore in the same period year-ago.

Jet has proposed to sell 24 per cent stake in the company to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways for Rs 2,058 crore.

Under the proposed deal, Goyal would eventually have a 51 per cent stake in the company, while 24 per cent stake would be held by Etihad and the remaining 25 per cent will be with public shareholders.