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    SpiceJet delays proficiency checks for several B737 pilots, reduces flights

    SpiceJet delays proficiency checks for several B737 pilots, reduces flights

    SpiceJet delays proficiency checks for several B737 pilots, reduces flights
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    By Anu Sharma   IST (Updated)

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    SpiceJet has delayed proficiency checks for several of its Boeing 737 pilots and thereby, these pilots with expired proficiency checks cannot operate flights and are not paid any compensation under the current salary payment scheme of the low-cost carrier.

    Budget carrier SpiceJet has delayed proficiency checks for several of its Boeing 737 pilots and thereby, these pilots with expired proficiency checks cannot operate flights and are not paid any compensation under the current salary payment scheme of the low-cost carrier, CNBC-TV18 has learnt.
    In a mail to the pilots on August 2, the airline admitted that the simulator availability has been limited for the past four months and has impacted several pilots.
    "As most of you will be aware that our simulator availability has been somewhat limited for the past four months. This has resulted in several of you having lost your PPC currency. We want to assure you that this situation is temporary and could persist for some more time. In the process we are also fully aware and sensitive to the matter that those pilots with PPC expired are not being paid any compensation under the prevailing salary payment scheme," the airline told its pilots in a mail.
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    As a pilot is required to undergo proficiency checks twice a year, the expiry of PPC has forced several pilots to remain at home. In addition, sources told CNBC-TV18 that the pilots with expired PPC are not being paid even the basic salaries and significantly lesser than what was promised as per a May 2020 mail.
    "Specifically for pilots, a deferred payment will be made for each month wherein the captains and first officers will be eligible for Rs 100,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. This amount will be paid once we return to normalcy. Those of us who are flying will be paid as per the block hours flown at the end of the month and the above amount will be paid in addition to the payment made as per the block hours flown," the airline had written to the pilots in May 2020. However, this salary payment structure is not being followed completely, sources said.
    "Basic salaries have not been paid to most of the pilots since at least a year. The senior pilots or captains with expired proficiency checks have received a mere Rs 35,000 as salary whereas their basic salary is Rs 1.6 lakh," a source said.
    In a response to CNBC-TV18's query, a SpiceJet spokesperson said the proficiency checks of some Boeing 737 Pilots have intentionally been delayed.
    "This is because of the monthly flying in this fleet being greatly reduced (due to reduced passenger traffic). Consequently, the number of pilots required to meet the monthly flying task is greatly reduced. This delay in doing their 'recurrent training and proficiency checks' is to optimise expenditure on training,” the spokesperson said, adding that all of these Boeing 737 Pilots will undergo their recurrent training and proficiency checks as “the quantum of flying increases over the coming weeks."
    As per June air traffic data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the market share of SpiceJet has fallen to 9 percent in June from 12.8 percent in January, thereby, indicating reduced capacity.
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