A Nigerian airline, Air Peace has sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet, Mouthpiece NGR has learnt.
The company also reduced staff salaries by up to 40 per cent.
A member of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers disclosed this to one of our correspondents, craving anonymity.
The source said the number of sacked pilots was between 70 and 75 in total.
The management of the airline said it had to take the “painful but rightful” decision in the face of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health.
It said the job erasure for pilots amongst it over 3000 staff became imperative because it could not afford to continue fulfilling its financial obligations without carrying out restructuring of its entire operations to survive the times.
Besides, the carrier said the painful decision was to keep its operations afloat after it carried out a raft of measures including cut of zero to 40 per cent in the salaries of staff.
In a statement in Lagos on Monday, the airline management said such move was critical to sustain its operations and survive the times.
The statement reads: “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.
“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 zero to 40 per cent cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff.
“Even after the cuts, it was obvious for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.”