As coronavirus continues to take toll on India’s aviation sector, Tata SIA’s joint venture Vistara has asked its top management to go on leave without pay for few days.
As coronavirus continues to take toll on India’s aviation sector, Tata SIA’s joint venture Vistara has asked its top management to go on leave without pay for few days. The airline has directed its senior employees to go on leave without pay for up to three days between April 15 and April 30, PTI reported citing Vistara CEO as saying. As the government has extended the lockdown for 19 more days, the flight services also remain grounded, adding to the pains of a sector that was already reeling under technical issues such as grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, before lockdown. With mounting financial pressure, major domestic airlines such as IndiGo and SpiceJet have also asked their employees to bear salary cuts in the month of March.
The airline sector is one of the worst hit in the country with the government imposing travel and flight restrictions to curb coronavirus pandemic. In fact, according to several industry reports, the coronavirus outbreak will continue to cast a long shadow over the sector even after the restrictions are lifted. “The impact of travel ban and restriction is expected to be felt even after the lockdown is lifted as travelers would avoid unnecessary travels till the time Covid-19 situation is stabilised,” CARE Ratings said in a report on Tuesday. Airlines have started to cut corners by letting go of wet-lease aircrafts and announcing pay cuts.
Previously, Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had said that the government had good reasons to extend the lockdown while assuring that airlines will be allowed to fly soon. “There were good reasons for the lockdown to be extended till 3rd May. We can consider lifting restrictions on both domestic and international flights thereafter,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday. He had earlier said that his “heart goes out” to people who are suffering because of the lockdown and the government will lift restrictions as soon as it is confident that the outbreak of the deadly virus is under control.