SpiceJet employees on Wednesday alleged a delay in the disbursal of salaries for the second straight month, with the budget airline saying the payments were being made in a "graded format".
There was a delay in disbursal of salary for staff, including flight crew, for the month of July and many are yet to get Form 16 for the financial year 2021-22 as well, SpiceJet employees claimed.
"The salary disbursal was timely for June. Also, the salaries are yet to match the pre-COVID-19 levels. The salaries being disbursed to captains and first officers are not even 50 per cent of what they used to be before the pandemic outbreak in March 2020," an employee told PTI.
However, SpiceJet claimed it has started salary disbursal in a "graded format".
"We have started crediting salaries from today. Like the previous month, salary will be credited in a graded format," the airline said in a statement to PTI.
In an internal communication Wednesday, SpiceJet's Human Resources team informed employees about the delays citing that the "previous few months have been difficult" due to a "superlative fuel price hike" and also a "historically lean period of July-September".
"We have started to see some green shoots of relief with a reduction in fuel price effective August 1. Passenger demand is also expected to be strong as we enter our traditional strong season in end-September," the communication read.
"However, there are a few milestones to be reached as we tread these difficult times and overcome the impact of the adverse business environment as we move along. In view of the foregoing, the salaries for the month of August shall be released in a staggered manner starting end-August until mid of next month, as completed in the previous month," it said.
In the wake of the pandemic and continued irregularities in salaries, scores of pilots have left SpiceJet in recent months. They included first officers as well as captains of its Boeing 737 fleet.
"It was difficult to continue on a salary which was one-third of what I got three years ago. There was also provident fund- and tax-related discrepancies in our payslips because of which many of us ended up paying more taxes even as the salaries we got did not merit those taxes," a former SpiceJet pilot, part of the post-COVID-19 exodus, told PTI.
The pilots and flight crew members have often flagged stress issues due to financial irregularities.