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Majority of GoAir's 5,500 Employees to Be on Leave Without Pay Till May 3

Most of the airlines had chalked out their plans to resume services from April 15 in expectation that the lockdown will be lifted.

New Delhi: Majority of 5,500-odd employees of GoAir will now be on “leave without pay” (LWP) till May 3 as its entire fleet remains grounded in the wake of the extended lockdown, the airline has said.

In March, the Wadia Group-owned airline asked its employees to go on LWP on a rotational basis besides cutting their salaries.

“The lockdown has been further extended till May 3, and with this extension, our fleet continues to be completely grounded. Hence, we are constrained to request you to proceed on ‘leave without pay’ till May 3,” GoAir said in a communication to its employees on Saturday.

The government has extended the lockdown till May 3, which was to end on April 14.

Most of the airlines had chalked out their plans to resume services from April 15 in expectation that the lockdown will be lifted.

“We may, however, have to extend the period of ‘leave without pay’ for further term, if so required,” the airline said.

An official, however, said about 10% of the 5,500-odd employees, who are crucial for certain tasks even when there is no operation, continue to work and will be paid partial salary.

We are hopeful that the skies will reopen from May 4 and we will resume operations in a phased manner. Meanwhile, the airline also said it is working towards building its ability to scale up operations in the new environment and market conditions that would emerge going forward.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said airlines are “advised” to open bookings only after the government takes a decision on starting domestic and international commercial passenger flight services.

“The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations,” he wrote on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, Air India said it has opened bookings on select domestic flights from May 4 and on select international flights from June 1.

Four days ago, IndiGo had announced that it would start flight operations in a phased manner from May 4. The private carrier has been taking bookings on select domestic flights since then.