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COVID-19 crisis: Nigerian airline fires pilots in mass layoff

Air Peace has sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet and reduced staff salaries by up to 40 per cent, a member of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers told the Punch.

Confirming the development, the management of the airline, however, linked the pilots’ disengagement to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pilots had on 22 July, protested a major pay cut after negotiations with the management over their remuneration broke down. A spokesperson of the airline, Stanley Olise, described the development as “painful but rightful decision,” going by the present economic reality.

He said 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 to survive the times, acknowledging how the coronavirus pandemic has hit every airline worldwide.

Olise explained that the new salaries reflect a zero per cent-40 percent depending on the salary grades of each employee.