The management of Nigerian fast growing airline, Air Peace says the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic on its operations was responsible for the sacked of some pilots and supporting staff.
The company said in a statement on Monday in Lagos that it took the “very painful, but rightful decision”.
It said that the decision followed the circumstances the airline found itself as a result of the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic on its operations.
“This decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost three thousand workforce, 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 organisations, 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 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 per cent 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 statement said.
The management said that Air Peace had never, for one day, ever owed salaries to its workers in its almost six years of existence, pilots inclusive.
It said that rather the management of Air Peace had always been known to be increasing 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 per cent 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 majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in 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 statement added.
It said that 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 is not immuned from these challenges,” the statement said.