Akasa Air has hiked the salaries of pilots for a second time in two months amid growing demand for Boeing 737 captains in the country. The latest revision, which includes a mix of monthly loyalty reward of ₹100,000 and long-term incentive of ₹25,00000, comes in the backdrop of pilot resignations.

At least 19 pilots quit Akasa Air in August without serving the notice period, and more are said to have resigned, lured by recruitment offers from Air India Express. Akasa Air inducted its 20th aircraft and celebrated the first anniversary earlier in the month.

“This accomplishment goes beyond the sheer number of aircraft. It represents our shared vision, determination and the ability to overcome challenges and adversities. Since the commencement of our operations, in the face of evolving market conditions, you have displayed resilience and adaptability that have been crucial to our success,” the airline’s human resources head, Ritu Sinha, wrote in a staff e-mail on Friday.

The monthly loyalty reward will be paid to pilots, in addition to 40 hours of base pay and will come into effect from August. The long term incentive of ₹25,00000 will be paid in three instalments ( 15, 25 and 60 per cent) between August 2024 and 2026.  In June Akasa Air hiked pilot salaries by 40 per cent. Along with salary increase, the airline also made changes in allowances and promotion criteria. It also began offering pilots bases in Mumbai and Delhi. Yet despite the revisions it saw nineteen pilot resignations this month.

‘No impact’

Akasa Air’s founder and CEO, Vinay Dube, told businessline earlier this month that pilot resignations will not have an immediate impact on the airline’s operations.

“We have a 10 years plan that covers pilot recruitment, training and career upgrades. There is no long term impact (due to resignations) and we remain very confident about the future. We are planners and we plan for contingencies. You have to look at our track record. We have the lowest cancellation rate and best on time performance,” Dubey had said.