Why Air Peace Sacked Pilots

Emmanuel Adigwe

Nigerian private airline, Air Peace, says it has sacked some of its pilots as part of the company’s efforts to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This was disclosed in a statement on Monday but the airline did not give the exact number of the staff affected but stated that the decision was taken for the greater good.

“The Management of Air Peace wishes to state that it has taken a very painful but rightful 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,” the statement read.

“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 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% 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 airline also disclosed that it has never owed its workers and had also increased the salaries of pilots “by over 100% in one day”, stressing that the decision was inevitable under the current circumstances adding that  if things return to normal, the sacked pilots will have a place to come back to in future if they wish to return.

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