Corona scare: Air India cuts costs, withdraws special allowances

“Keeping in view the financial position of the company in the wake of recent global developments, a need is felt to take steps to contain costs as far as possible.

Published: 19th March 2020 10:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2020 10:29 AM   |  A+A-

Air India

Air India (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: With the aviation sector under pressure due to the global spread of coronavirus, Air India has announced cost-cutting measures by withdrawing special allowances for pilots and other facilities for its officials. Airlines including Air India has witnessed sharp decline in bookings during the month of March and airfares have came down substantially.

“Keeping in view the financial position of the company in the wake of recent global developments, a need is felt to take steps to contain costs as far as possible. Airlines all over the world are taking steps in this regard, with a few having taken very aggressive action,” said a letter issued by the Office of Executive Director, Finance on Tuesday.

The entertainment allowance for executive pilots has been withdrawn while layover allowance for all cabin crew members will be revised. All cabin crew (permanent and contractual) will have revised layover allowance of $100 for 30 hours and thereafter $4 for every additional hour in excess of 30 hours, said the Air India statement. Moreover, the fuel reimbursement limit has for now been reduced to six months starting from April 1.

The airline said the decision had been taken to reduce the cost “as far as possible”.Many Indian airlines including the Air India has suspended many flights, both domestic and international. This week, Air India suspended its flight to the UK and Europe between till March 31 as the coronavirus spread has refused to cease. Earlier, it had decided to cancel all its flights to Kuwait till April 30 and curtail services to various other countries.

Domestic air-traffic went up in February
The spread of COVID-19 did not have much impact on domestic air travel during February as the traffic in the month increased by 8.98 per cent to 1.236 crore as compared to the same period last year. According to data released on Wednesday by aviation regulator DGCA, domestic scheduled airlines carried 12.37 million passengers last month, up from 11.34 million passengers from the year earlier period.

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