On Saturday, Oct 18 Kingfisher announced that it would cut salaries of trainee co-pilots. Promoted by Vijay Mallya's UB Group, the airlines took the step keeping in mind its reduction in capacity, forcing the downward revision in emoluments. A cost-modelling study has shown Kingfisher has surplus pilots, but it isn't clear how many exactly. Unlike Jet Airways, Kingfisher"s surplus pilots include senior commanders on wide-bodied A340 aircraft.
There has been no official notification of the pay cuts so far but sources say that the final calculations in the cost-cutting exercise will emerge soon. Although the Kingfisher spokesperson did not comment on the specifics of the cost-cutting exercise, a general statement issued by the airline in this regard late on Friday, Oct 17 evening confirmed the salary cuts.
''With a view to tiding over the ongoing turbulence in the aviation industry and keeping in mind the reduction in capacity deployed, Kingfisher Airlines has effected a downward revision in emoluments of a small pool of 50 trainee co-pilots."
"These trainee co-pilots will continue to remain on the payroll of the company and will continue to enjoy and be able to avail full benefits and privileges that are available to employees of the company," the airline statement said.
Kingfisher"s decision comes within days of its alliance with Jet Airways. Jet"s decision to lay off nearly 1,900 employees, mostly probationers, also came in for widespread criticism, and its chairman Naresh Goyal announced that nearly 800 staffers who had been asked to leave were being reinstated.