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Another Nigerian airline, Bristow Helicopters sacks over 100 pilots, engineers

Valentine Chinyem

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Barely 24-hours after Peace Airlines sacked 70 pilots, another aviation company, Bristow Helicopters Limited has terminated the appointment of over 100 pilots and engineers.

The airline, whose primary operation focuses on the oil and gas sector, said those sacked includes both Nigerian nationals and expatriates.

The airline, in a statement, said it had engaged the NAAPE to negotiate a fair and equitable redundancy compensation for the affected individuals.

The airline cited the severe impact of COVID-19 pandemic as the reason behind the mass sack, adding that it would use the period to now restructure all aspects of its business model.

The statement said: “The spread of the COVID-19 virus has severely impacted all sectors in the aviation industry including our market, which primarily serves the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

“In addition, the ongoing downturn in the global oil and gas market continues to influence and determine the demand for our services.

“The combined effects of these ‘arisings’ has resulted in very significant reductions to our business particularly a reduction in the number of contracted aircraft in Nigeria.

“As a result, the company must now restructure all aspects of its business model (both Rotary & Fixed Wing), including an extensive review of its operations and we continue to drive efficiencies, but with zero compromise to safety and our core values.

“One of these measures includes the right sizing of the business to ensure that the company has the optimal level of personnel to continue the safe delivery of its services to its clients, whilst allowing the appropriate capacity for future growth.

“Accordingly, and with much regret, the company has taken the very difficult decision to release over 100 pilots and engineers (both National and Expatriates) over the next couple of weeks.

“In compliance with the relevant labor and local content laws and also best practices; the company has engaged the leadership of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) to negotiate a fair and equitable redundancy compensation for the affected individuals.”