Pawan Hans latest to hit by financial crisis after Kingfisher, Jet Airways; says unable to pay April salaries

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Updated: April 28, 2019 7:03:47 PM

India's national helicopter carrier Pawan Hans said in a circular sent to employees on Thursday that the company cannot give their salaries for April as it is facing "uncomfortable financial position".

Pawan Hans has around 46 helicopters currently.

Turbulence continues in the Indian aviation sector as Pawan Hans undergoes financial crisis after beleaguered carriers Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways. India’s national helicopter carrier Pawan Hans said in a circular sent to employees on Thursday that the company cannot give their salaries for April as it is facing “uncomfortable financial position,” ANI reported.

Pawan Hansa said that the industry’s future is uncertain as many of its established businesses and associated challenges are threatening future deployments. The company’s revenue plummeted in the financial year 2018-19 while reporting Rs 89 crore in net loss for the same period, the circular said.

The carrier also said that search trends have been financially downturn due to ‘serious mismatch’ that has occurred between its revenue income (based on the existing business volume) and its expenses, particularly related to the staff cost.

The financial instability has further deteriorated following the outstanding amount lying with customers shot up to an overwhelming level of more than Rs 230 crores. Hence, the entire company requires overhaul with right measures in different segments of management, areas of management, the company said.

“Keeping in view the crucial financial position,” Pawan Hans said that the salary of employees for April month will be deferred other than those who are directly contributing to the production until it recovers 60 per cent of the outstanding dues by reducing the receivable to less than Rs 100 crore. It further said that the company would look at different ways to cut costs and improve the deficiency in its operations with contribution from every employee.

The employee union, on the other hand, had condemned the decision by Pawan Hans calling it “inhuman”.

“It is inhuman to stop the salaries of workers who all are due for wage revision,” the union said. It added that the company is diverting the problem with deferring salaries even as its executives have pocketed the new skills with arrears. The union protested against Pawan Hans’ move by wearing a black ribbon.

The union cautioned Pawan Hans to be responsible for any “outward incident,” it said in reply even as the union threatened to take the matter with the CAG and CBI over Pawan Hans’ financial problem if it failed to heed to their grievances.

Importantly, the government had last year called off a fresh bid for 100 per cent stake sale in Pawan Hans. Pawan Hans has around 46 helicopters currently.

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