NEW DELHI: Deprived of sleep and suffering from fatigue, IndiGo employees are actively looking for other opportunities. Post Saturday’s mass leave that irked aviation regulator DGCA as 55% of its flights got delayed, nearly half a dozen IndiGo pilots and cabin crew TNIE contacted said that the country’s only profitable airline is operating like a factory, which doesn’t value employees and provide little or no time to rest.
“If a new airline is announced tomorrow requiring 20,000 cabin crew and 4,000 pilots, the whole of IndiGo staff would switch there,” said a pilot who has been with the airline for over 5 years.
According to industry sources, a majority of IndiGo’s cabin crew members who took sick leave on Saturday were spotted at Air India’s recruitment drive.
Another IndiGo pilot who is planning his resignation said that working hours have become very demanding and frequent posting at remote locations has angered many colleagues.
“Once, a colleague was sent to a small town without any prior accommodation arrangement. This gave him tons of unwanted discomfort,” he said.
A senior cabin crew who has been with the airline for 4 years said their leaves have been shortened without giving them additional financial benefits.
According to a former senior employee at the airline, the single biggest reason why many are resigning is that they were not treated well during the two-year pandemic. He added that forceful salary cuts during covid-19 and the inhumane management style impacted employees’ morale.
In April, IndiGo suspended a few pilots who were planning to organise a strike to protest against pandemic-related pay cuts, a first for the airline.
According to sector experts, now that India’s aviation industry is going through a structural change with Tata’s taking over Air India and the new player Akasa is all set to fly, there is an increased demand for workforce in this sector.
Mark Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Consulting, said the future prospect of Air India with the Tata Group is looking assuring.
“It is very promising for pilots and cabin crew from a long-term perspective as salaries here are going to be very balanced along with ethical work culture,” he added.
According to Martin, airlines that are not treating their employees well can experience a mass exodus as Asia alone requires 180,000 pilots and 250,000 cabin crew at the moment.
Query sent to IndiGo remained unanswered till this story was published.