Travel demand revival leads to staff poaching – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The strong revival in travel has now led to industry biggies — who had laid off staff during Covid — poaching from each other to meet the increased demand. This phenomenon is being witnessed by both airlines and hotels, with the former trying their best to stop losing crew to Gulf carriers. As a result, they are now forced to take steps to retain talent by restoring pay cuts.
However, cautious optimism remains the key word due to the continuing pandemic, crisis in Ukraine, increasing oil prices and fears of a full blown recession if Russia continues the war for a long period. Conscientious employers are giving the disclaimer that the restored cuts will depend on how the situation on all these fronts shapes up and how that impacts demand.
A cautious Vistara, for instance, last Thursday told pilots it will reinstate their monthly bonus component from April 1, 2022. “Whilst we hope that the situation will stabilise… (it) could, in fact, deteriorate further,” Vistara senior VP (flight operations) Captain Hamish Maxwell said in a mail to pilots. He added that depending on the evolving situation things could change.
A leading hotel player told TOI recently that during Covid some chains had laid off staffers. “Big Indian hospitality players had adopted a more humane approach during Covid with some even taking debt to pay salaries which were obviously deducted. Most of the foreign chains were ruthless. Now as business picks up, they are poaching from us,” said the hotel biggie. A leading Gulf full-service airline has been taking cabin crew from Indian carriers. A desi low-cost carrier saw many of its pilots join a newly-privatised airline. Employees are not complaining. “We hope more jobs open up. This serves those companies right that were heartlessly brutal in cutting payroll expenses during Covid. We have seen which companies treated their employees well and which used Covid as an excuse to be brutal in layoffs and pay cuts,” said a senior pilot.



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