SpiceJet shares fell 4 per cent today after the budget airline said it had sent around 80 pilots on a three-month leave without pay in order to rationalise costs. Stock of SpiceJet slipped 4.01 per cent intraday to Rs 41.85 today against the previous close of Rs 43.60 on BSE. SpiceJet shares opened with a loss of 3.1 per cent at Rs 42.25 on BSE. Shares of SpiceJet have lost 47.3 per cent in the last one year and fallen 38.33 per cent since the beginning of this year.
The stock has lost 10 per cent in a month. In a week, the stock is down 6.25 per cent. The airline stock is trading is trading lower than 5-day, 20-day, 50-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages. Total 4.37 lakh shares of the firm changed hands amounting to a turnover of Rs 1.83 crore on BSE. Market cap of the airline fell to Rs 2,527 crore.
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The airline said that the decision to send pilots on leave was in line with its policy of not retrenching employees.
“In a temporary measure to rationalise costs, SpiceJet has decided to place certain pilots on leave without pay for a period of three months. This measure, which is in line with SpiceJet’s policy of not retrenching any employee which the airline steadfastly followed even during the peak of the Covid pandemic, will help rationalise the pilot strength vis-a-vis the aircraft fleet,” said SpiceJet on Tuesday.
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According to reports, pilots who have been sent on leave operate the Boeing and Q400 fleet. SpiceJet said the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft between March 2019 and November 2020 financially impacted the airline.
The Ajay Singh-led airline said it had inducted more than 30 aircraft in 2019 following the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft. It continued with its planned pilot induction programme expecting the grounded aircraft to be back in service.
“However, the prolonged grounding of the MAX fleet resulted in a large number of excess pilots at SpiceJet,” it said.
The budget carrier reported widening of net loss to Rs 789 crore in the June quarter as high fuel prices and rupee depreciation adversely impacted the budget carrier. The low-cost carrier logged a net loss of Rs 729 crore in the quarter ended June 2021.