Why we sacked pilots, supporting staff —Air Peace
Air Peace gave reasons on Monday for laying off pilots and supporting staff.
It said the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic on its operations were responsible for the sack of some pilots and supporting staff in the organization.
The airline sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet and reduced staff salaries by about 40 percent.
However, the company said in a statement on Monday in Lagos that the management
took the “very painful, but rightful decision” by disengaging the pilots.
It said the decision followed the situation the airline found itself as a result of the caustic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations.
The statement read:
“This decision was taken for the greater good of the company
and its almost three thousand workforces, the affected pilots inclusive.
“The airline cannot afford to toe the path of being unable to continue to fulfill its financial obligations to its staff,
external vendors, aviation agencies, maintenance organizations, insurance companies, banks, and other creditors.
“Hence, the decision to restructure its entire operations with a view to surviving the times.
“The pandemic has hit every airline worldwide, so badly that it has become
very impossible for airlines to remain afloat without carrying out an internal restructuring of their costs.
“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of
an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period.
“Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff.
The new salaries reflect a 0-40 percent cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff.
“Even after the cuts, it was obvious that for us to be able to sustain
our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.”
The management said Air Peace had never, for one day, owed salaries
to its workers in its almost six years of existence, pilots inclusive.
“Rather Air Peace always increase the salaries of
its employees periodically without being prompted by staff.
“In fact, in one fell swoop, Air Peace increased the salaries of pilots by over 100 percent in one day!
“Our salaries have always been paid even before the end of the month in the last five years.
“So, we love all our staff.
This decision is inevitable under the circumstances we find ourselves.
“In order to protect the continuity of the majority of the existing jobs and the possibility
of creating new ones in the future, the survival of the airline is of paramount importance.
“When everything comes back to normal, those pilots affected today
will have a place to come back to in future, if they so wish.”
The airline said the decision was a reflection of the negative impact of the pandemic on airlines and aviation worldwide.
“We are in trying times.
Even, the biggest airlines in Europe, America, Middle East, Asia, Australia, and, indeed,
Africa, are all either slashing jobs and cutting salaries in order to remain afloat or are shutting down.
“Air Peace not immune from these challenges,” the statement concluded.