At least 70 pilots have been sacked at one of Nigeria’s main airlines, Air Peace, in a restructuring which the company says became important in order for the company to stay afloat.
The airline said it had two options: Either to sack and reduce the salaries of staff members who remained or be unable to pay salaries and fulfil other financial responsibilities. It chose the former.
Few weeks ago, the airline’s boss, Allen Onyema, called on the government to provide the aviation industry with bailouts to enable airlines stay afloat.
But airlines have not been included in the government’s $6bn (£43bn) Covid-19 stimulus plan which would see various sectors of the economy given access to loans to lessen effects of the pandemic.
A statement from Air Peace spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, said the review was first done in terms of pay cuts of between zero to 40% depending on the salary grades. But that was not enough to help the airline.
Even though domestic air travel has now reopened in Nigeria, the damage is already done.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had said that for each month the aviation sector was closed, the industry in Nigeria was losing $77m.