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Nigeria

Air Peace Slashes Salaries By 40%, Sacks 70 Pilots

Valentine Chinyem

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Nigeria’s largest carrier, Air Peace, has sacked 70 pilots, as well as slashed salaries by 40%.

According to the airline said the decision had to be taken due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ita finances, adding that, the decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3000 workforce.

The management noted 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.

This was made in a statement issued by the mamagement of Air Peace.

The airline said it decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff to reflect a 0%-40% 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 reads: “We wish to state that we have 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.

“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 as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period.

“We are in trying times. Even the biggest airlines in Europe, America, Middle East, Asia, Australia and, indeed, Africa, are all either slashing jobs or cutting salaries in order to remain afloat or are shutting down. Air Peace is not immune from these challenges.

“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.

“ Air Peace has never, for one day, owed salaries to its workers in its almost six years of existence, pilots inclusive. Rather the management of Air Peace has 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% in one day. Our salaries have always been paid even before the end of the month in the last 5 years.

“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.”