SpiceJet, India’s fourth-largest airline in terms of passengers carried, has launched a drive to retain employees and also attract talent from rival airlines. The airline is offering senior pilots cars worth Rs 25 lakh, with an additional provision that the pilots could retain the cars after completing four years with the company.
Such a perk is not limited to the pilots. As per the airline’s talent retention policy, employees in the grade of vice-president and above are given cars worth Rs 30 lakh, general managers and above (but below vice-president rank) are eligible for cars costing Rs 15 lakh, and those in the deputy general manager grade are given cars worth Rs 10 lakh.
As per the new retention policy, the eligible employees can select a car of their choice. “The facility will remain in force for four years from the day the employee takes the vehicle under this scheme, and continues to be in employment with the company,” the policy said.
In case of the employee leaving the company within four years, he/she can simply hand back the vehicle, or buy it from the company by paying the balance amount.
SpiceJet resurrected itself over the last couple of years, after running into a huge financial-related operational crisis. It is now following the footsteps of IndiGo, Jet and Vistara in building a retention benefit scheme for its employees.
IndiGo also offers its pilots perks in the form of cars. Like SpiceJet, IndiGo’s senior pilots and officials are given cars worth Rs 25 lakh, while Vistara offers soft loans to its employees to purchase high-end cars. On the other hand, national carrier Air India, which recently announced a small operational profit, offers no sops whatsoever to its employees.
After the exodus of executives, pilots and cabin crew during its financially unstable days, Spicejet has now managed to recruit 40 senior and mid-level pilots. Of these, 18 are reported to be from Indigo, and seven have been poached from Air India. The airline has already announced that it requires another 50 pilots to manage a new fleet of aircraft.
“After we got fresh talent on board, it became necessary to introduce the best practices and offer perks that mattered,” a senior official from the airline said, adding that the new retention policy came into effect from May 1. A senior SpiceJet pilot, who had resigned but the perks made him do a U-turn, said that the management was also planning to give employees the stock option (ESOP).
The airline sources said that in recent times, Saptarshi Bose, former senior manager (revenue management) at IndiGo, joined SpiceJet as general manager. Similarly, Pahuna Lal quit IndiGo to join the airline as deputy head of corporate strategy and projects, while SpiceJet veteran Kiran Koteshwar now heads finance. Messages sent to SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh went unanswered.