MUMBAI: Debt-ridden Air India, which has has not paid salaries to its employees for the month of July, on Friday a said it is making “all efforts” to disburse them by the next week.

The salaries have been delayed due to the reasons beyond the airline’s control, it said in a communication to its staff. This is the fifth consecutive month that the national carrier has failed to pay salaries to its employees on time.  Generally, the airline disburses salaries by the 30th or the 31st of every month. There were delay in payments in March, April, May and June as well.

“We regret to inform the delay in payment of salaries for the month of July due to circumstances beyond the control of the management,” Air India general manager for human resources said in the notice to staff, adding, “However, all efforts are being made to make the payments by next week.” Air India has more than 11,000 permanent staff.

Meanwhile, two of its unions – Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and Indian Aircraft Technicians Association (IATA) – today wrote to the airline chairman and managing director, Pradeep Singh Kharola, raising the issue of salary delay, saying that it does not augurs well for the organisation. “It is disheartening to note that the salary has yet again been delayed for the fifth consecutive month. Financial uncertainty is a source of frustration, anxiety and stress which results in undue fatigue, adversely impacting flight safety and the overall performance levels of employees,” the ICPA said in its letter.

It alleged that the crisis which the airline is facing has been attributed to employees, market conditions and government policies, among others, while, “The genesis of these problems are poor management and poor functioning of the airline.” It further said that “until salaries and all emoluments are paid on time, the ICPA has decided to operate flights under protest due to harassment on account of unpaid dues and serious concerns of flight safety”.

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