With budget carrier SpiceJet wobbling amid fund drought and the aviation regulator keeping a close tab on its curtailed operations, the no-frill carrier's pilots are flocking to other airlines in search of a job, industry sources said.
As many as 54 SpiceJet pilots of the over 125 pilots who have quit the airline have already applied for a jobs in the two major airlines -- Jet Airways and IndiGo, the sources said.
"The exodus of pilots from SpiceJet continues in view of the prevailing uncertainty. Around 125 pilots have already quit the carrier so far and of them 54 have already applied for a job with Jet Airways and IndiGo," one of the sources said.
Of the 54 pilots, 40 have sought a job with Jet Airways, while the remaining have applied in the budget carrier IndiGo, the sources said.
The airline auditors, in their recent report, have cast doubts over the ability of SpiceJet to run as a "going concern".
Concerned over the deteriorating condition of SpiceJet and large-scale flight cancellations, aviation regulator DGCA yesterday withdrew 186 of its slots and asked it to clear salary dues of all its employees by December 15.
The airline, however, in a statement yesterday, said that surrendering the unused slots to an airport operators was a routine practice and it had already paid November salaries to almost 85 per cent of the employees two days ago.
After reviewing the situation facing the no-frill carrier, DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar took a series of decisions, including asking the airline to file a "convincing schedule" by 15 December to clear its over Rs 1,500 crore dues to various vendors including airports and oil companies as well as stop taking bookings beyond one month among others.