Airlines seek government help to pay salary

TIL Desk/Business/New Delhi/ Airlines have sought help from the government to help them pay employees’ salaries as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has forced the authorities to stop air transport. Sources aware of the development said, chief executive officers of airlines have asked the government to bear 50 per cent of three months’ salaries of employees.

The demand emanates from the government direction stating that companies shouldn’t fire employees even if functions are stopped because of the pandemic. “In the backdrop of such challenging situations, all the employees of public or private establishments are advised to extend their coordination by not terminating their employees – particularly casual or contract workers for their job or reduce their wages,” an advisory issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment said.

Executives of airlines said it is difficult to pay employees as already they function on a wafer-thin margin and are mostly dependent on cash flows, which comes from forward ticket sales. Airlines say that even after air transport resumes on  April 15, and even after that they say that consumer demand will be very weak, forcing them to ground many aircraft.

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