Go First (formerly Go Air), which is undergoing a financial crisis, intends to increase salaries for pilots by Rs 1 lakh per month, in a bid to retain them and resume operations. The airline plans to offer the same salary hike to pilots who previously resigned but are willing to withdraw their resignations before 15 June 2023.
Additionally, Go First has promised to reinstate a ‘longevity bonus’ for staff members who have been with the airline for long. The airline is trying to resume flying soon, which, it is hoped, will make way for regular salary payments, say media reports.
According to data from Ambition Box mentioned in a report, a Go First pilot typically earns Rs 5,30,000 per month. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator, has requested the airline to submit a comprehensive plan outlining the availability of aircraft, pilots, and other essential staff to support future operations.
In a May 24 email to all staff members, Captain Rajit Ranjan, Go First’s vice-president, flight operations, assured that the full salary for April would be paid before the airline resumes operations. He also mentioned that starting from the upcoming month, salaries would be paid in the first week of every month. Ranjan indicated that Go First is making progress towards resuming operations, citing the recent National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order that accepted the airline’s insolvency plea, despite objections from aircraft lessors.
Go First has not operated flights since 3 May 2023, following its bankruptcy filing. It has faced legal challenges from lessors seeking to protect their aircraft. Recently, the airline announced flight cancellations until 30 May 2023.
Out of the approximately 55 aircraft in Go First’s fleet, 28 are currently grounded. This grounding has caused a financial strain on the airline, which has been operating for over 17 years, ultimately leading it to file for insolvency proceedings.