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SpiceJet will lay off 15% of workforce in major cost-cutting move, affecting 1,400 employees

Amid financial challenges, Gurugram-based budget airline SpiceJet is going to lay off around 1400 employees, which is about 15% of its existing workforce. The airline is looking to secure funding of ₹2200 crore to stabilize its operations, but the future remains uncertain for the affected employees as the aviation industry struggles to recover from the pandemic.

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Bengaluru: To reduce costs and maintain investor interest, Low-cost carrier SpiceJet is set to lay off around 1400 employees. This cut in the workforce represents about 15% of the airline’s existing employees, aiming to save 1 billion rupees ($12 million) annually, the decision comes amid financial challenges, including months of delayed salary payments and a ₹60 crore monthly salary bill.

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Cash-strapped SpiceJet’s troubles, once a leader in India’s low-cost aviation market, began to surface in 2022 when it started delaying salary payments to its employees. The airline, which currently operates with 9000 employees and 30 aircraft, is a shadow of its former self. At its peak in 2019, SpiceJet boasted a fleet of 118 aircraft and a headcount of 16,000.

The airline’s financial struggles have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged the global travel industry. Despite these challenges, SpiceJet is attempting to secure funding worth ₹2200 crore, a move that could potentially stabilize its operations and set it up for recovery.

“It’s a tough time for all of us,” says Ravi Sharma (name changed), a former SpiceJet employee who was laid off last year. “The aviation industry is going through a rough patch, and we are the ones paying the price.”

Sharma’s sentiments echo those of many SpiceJet employees who have found themselves in a precarious situation. For some people, job loss means a complete upheaval in their lives, forcing them to relocate or change careers. Others are still struggling to find new jobs in an industry that has yet to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

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Despite these challenges, low-budget airline is attempting to secure funding of ₹2200 crore, a move that could potentially stabilize its operations and position it for recovery. However, the road to recovery is long and uncertain, with the aviation industry not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest. The human cost of the aviation industry’s downturn has become starkly clear as 1,400 workers face an uncertain future.

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