- 90 per cent of work force to proceed on leave without pay
The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is beginning to take its toll on Nigeria’s aviation industry, as flag carrier Arik Air cuts salaries by 80 percent for all its workers for April, 2020.
The decision to cut salaries, sources close to the carrier said, was a fall out of careful deliberation and analysis of the entire organisation by the management for the month of April 2020.
It was learnt that effective May 1, 2020, no less than 90 per cent of the staff will proceed on leave without pay until further notice.
The source hinted that the position will be reviewed on a monthly basis as communication on further developments will be shared by the Human Resources Department as the situation evolves.
The source quoted a statement issued by the airline as saying: “While we are not unaware of the challenges that each and every one of us may face during this difficult period, we join you in remaining hopeful that this ugly situation will abate in the shortest possible time and our organisation will come out stronger in the long run.
“We are confident that the steps we are taking now are in the best interest of all and will see us through this difficult epoch in the history of mankind.”
Explaining why the company took the painful decision, the source said a few months ago, it would have been impossible to predict such turbulent and challenging circumstances.
The statement further reads: “To date, the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic remains dire with a high level of uncertainty even within medical circles regarding the containment of the pandemic. However, daily updates from a few countries seem to be encouraging.
“Our situation in Nigeria appears to be getting worse. With the current observed trend of events, it is prudent to lean on the assumption that the situation is likely to persist a while longer.
“Of huge significance to us is that we have suffered a sharp decline of over 98 per cent in our revenue streams since the suspension of our scheduled flights almost four weeks ago.
“Added to this is the rapid decline in the value of the naira by over 35 per cent against the benchmark, and with oil prices now falling well below $15 per barrel, it is evident that we must, without further delay, take decisive action to preserve our organization.”
The source said the focus of the company as management has always been hinged on the well-being and safety of staff, managing its liquidity as an organisation and creating the opportunity to ride out of inclement circumstances such as the one they are faced with.
Source: The Nation