India: Tata's Air India holds walk-in interviews, rival IndiGo's crew goes into 'mass leave'

Edited By: Manas Joshi
New Delhi Updated: Jul 04, 2022, 07:55 PM(IST)

The logo of IndiGo Airlines. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Sources in India's aviation industry have been quoted in the media reports as saying that there was a fat chance IndiGo employees took a leave to ensure fatter paychecks at Air India recruitment drive

The word 'Indigo' was perhaps a cause of anger and even outright revolt against East India Company in pre-independence India. A simple Google search would reveal as much. Though it's a little weird to connect the two but what happened on July 2, 2022 is an apparent hark back. This one was not a revolt, everybody would of course have wanted to be politically correct. But the end effect was some company finding it hard to carry out its daily business.

IndiGo, India's largest airline struggled to keep its flights on time. About 55 per cent of the company's flights were delayed. 

Reason?

A large number of its cabin crew called in sick. And mass recruitment by Air India appeared to be too obvious for the sudden sickness to seem mere co-incidental.

Sources in India's aviation industry have been quoted in the media reports as saying that there was a fat chance IndiGo employees took a leave to ensure fatter paychecks at Air India recruitment drive.

The phase-2 of Air India's recruitment drive was conducted on Saturday, July 2.

IndiGo, India's largest airline, currently operates approximately 1,600 flights --domestic and international -- daily.

News agency Press Trust of India said IndiGo and Air India did not respond to its requests for statements.

According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation's website, 45.2 per cent of IndiGo's domestic flights operated on time on Saturday.

In comparison, the on-time performances of Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara, Go First and AirAsia India was 77.1 per cent, 80.4 per cent, 86.3 per cent, 88 per cent and 92.3 per cent, respectively, on Saturday.

IndiGo CEO Ronjoy Dutta had on April 8 told employees through an email that raising salaries is a difficult and thorny issue but the airline will constantly review and adjust wages based on its profitability and the competitive environment.

IndiGo had on April 4 suspended a few pilots who were planning to organise a strike the next day to protest against the pay cuts that were implemented during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27, after successfully winning the bid for the airline on October 8 last year. Air India plans to buy new planes and improve its services, and it recently started a recruitment drive for fresh cabin crew members.

(With inputs from agencies)

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