SpiceJet’s recent job cuts triggered a ripple effect in the Indian aviation industry, bringing to fore the challenges faced by airlines, as also the potential for innovation and growth.

Expressing concern over the broader implications of the lay-offs, Diya Malani, Co-founder and CEO of ARTEEZ HR, says, “It not only reflects negatively on SpiceJet but also poses challenges in attracting and retaining talent within the industry.” Echoing this sentiment, Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Senior Director at CRISIL, emphasises the need for timely compensation and competitive benefits to inspire confidence in new and existing employees.

History repeats

Drawing parallels with similar crises in the past, observers recall that when GoFirst ran into trouble, the fear of looming pink slips saw HR consultancies inundated with resumes. This, in turn, raised apprehensions of exploitation by rival airlines, with depressed salary levels and loss of bargaining power for the jobseekers. The delicate balance between workforce dynamics and industry competition is in focus again with the latest uncertainty sparked by SpiceJet’s lay-offs, experts say.

Pointing out that over 160 aircraft, representing 25 per cent of the airline’s total fleet, were grounded, with a projected financial loss of $1.6-1.8 billion for FY24, Dhriti Prasanna Mahanta, Vice President and Business Head at TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, calls for strategic reforms to usher in long-term changes to rejuvenate the aviation sector.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently forecast a surge in demand for skilled aviation professionals, with Indian scheduled operators alone requiring an additional 10,900 pilots by FY30.

Malani says the aviation industry must invest not only in cost management but also talent management. She also says jobseekers must be made aware of opportunities available at international carriers, to ensure they do not settle for lower salaries in this challenging environment. Even closer home, carriers like Air India Express are scouting for B737 Max pilots.