The management of Air Peace has confirmed the sacking of its pilots, saying it had to make the painful decision due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and finances.
There were reports that Nigeria’s largest carrier terminated the employment of 69 of its pilots and other workers but the airline said the decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3000 workforce, adding that the company could not continue to fulfil its financial obligations to its staff, external vendors and maintenance organisations, hence the decision to restructure its entire operations.
In a statement, the airline said it decided to review the salary structure to reflect a zero to 40 per cent cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff, but soon discovered that even after the cuts, it would still be unable to sustain operations and survive the times and that resulted in the option of some terminations.
The statement read in part: “We wish to state that we have taken a very painful but right decision, in the circumstances the airline has found itself as a result of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health, to terminate the employment of some of its pilots.
“This decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3000 workforce, the affected pilots inclusive. The airline cannot afford to toe the path of being unable to continue to fulfil 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.”