Pilots, technicians, and other airline employees have been systematically reporting ill to show their displeasure. The main problem is that the pandemic-affected employees’ salaries have not yet been raised to their pre-pandemic levels. Carriers all around the world were obliged to cease operations when the pandemic hit and international borders were sealed. Layoffs and wage reductions were also used by Indian carriers.
Many workers received unpaid leave orders. The majority of employees have also been dealing with greater workloads since travel picked up, which only serves to exacerbate their discontent. They have come to the realisation that they are working just as hard, if not harder, than they were before the pandemic, but receiving much less pay. That explains why the staff of IndiGo and GoFirst, and later the technicians as well, took a collective leave of absence.
The workers are not only concerned about the pay reductions; they are also angry about the lack of incentives, the fact that their salaries are not raised when they receive promotions, and the fact that they are sometimes not paid on time for their salaries. Stress and annoyance appear to be rising as the crew is frequently asked to fly on their designated weekly off days as well.
There are allegedly more aeroplanes in the industry than there are pilots, engineers, and technicians combined. That implies that aircraft are also not being used to their full potential. Additionally, a lot of qualified and certified aircraft engineers are given the title “technician,” which by definition brings in a lesser salary—often less than 50% of what they should be making.
As if that weren’t bad enough, there have recently been numerous technical problems and safety issues on Indian local and international flights. An Air India Express flight had to be diverted to Muscat after a burning smell was noticed in the cabin on an IndiGo flight that had to be diverted to Karachi due to an engine malfunction. Due to some strange vibrations in the engine, another flight was diverted, and in one event, a bird was discovered in the cockpit!