New Delhi: SpiceJet on Wednesday told its pilots that they will not be paid salaries for April and May, and said those who have been operating cargo flights will get paid for “block hours flown”. SpiceJet’s flight operations chief Gurcharan Arora told pilots through an email that “as of today, 16 per cent of our aircraft and 20 per cent of our pilots are flying”. Also Read - Coronavirus in Delhi: No COVID-19 Suspect Can be Denied Admission Into Any Hospital, Delhi Govt Issues Order

“We are doing this by flying our five cargo aircraft and also flying more ‘cargo on seat’ on our passenger aircraft,” he said. Also Read - Viswanathan Anand Returns Home After Over Three Months, Family Relieved And Happy

The budget carrier has a total of 116 passenger planes and five freight aircraft in its fleet. India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. All commercial passenger flights have been suspended. Also Read - Come Out of Illusion, Delhi is in Community Transmission Stage, Says Ex-ICMR chief

Arora told pilots: “We will not be getting any salary for April and May 2020. Those of us who have been flying cargo, will get paid for the block hours flown.”

Block hours is the duration of a pilot operating the flight.

The email stated: “Over the coming weeks, we intend to increase the number of aircraft flying (cargo+cargo on the seat) to more than 50 per cent and the number of pilots flying to 100 per cent.