GoAir has informed 90 percent of its employees to go on indefinite leave without pay during the coronavirus pandemic, media reports said. GoAir is an Indian budget airline. Currently, its workforce comprises 5,500 employees.
India’s Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, said in a tweet that “airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government.”
GoAir will continue to pay a small section of employees on payroll. This move is to ensure the airline can seamlessly resume operations when the Indian government decides to lift the lockdown. It is reported that the budget airline is getting clarity on whether it can open bookings for travel after the national lockdown is lifted on May 3.
The airline might resume operations in phases after May 3, media reports said. Chief Executive Vinay Dube said in a statement, “GoAir is in full preparation mode for a gradual commencement of flights from 4 May 2020. We are going above and beyond the government recommendations in an effort to ensure maximum health and safety measures are undertaken as we gradually emerge from this unimaginable and unprecedented global crisis.”
The aviation sector has taken a hit globally because of the pandemic. According to industry estimates, the Indian aviation sector has reported huge revenue loss across domestic airports and airlines. Johns Hopkins University data shows that more than 137,193 people have died as a result of the pandemic. That said, 2 million cases have been infected.