Passenger Airlines hit hardest by Covid-19 induced restrictions

Tatenda Sanyahawa

Several global airlines are in great distress following the world wide lockdown and travel restrictions that in order to stay in business and avoid collapse, a number have decided to retrench some workers.

The unfortunate move has been necessitated by a drastic decline in flight bookings as well as strict quarantine rules for air travelers in many states worldwide.
Prominent International Airlines have thus been forced to cut jobs since March this year with Fly Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and recently IndiGo on the list.
The International Air Transport Association {IATA} which represents around 290 airlines told the BBC news that overally airlines are likely to lose more than 84 billion dollars this year and also more than one million jobs will be lost.

“Financially 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation ,on average, everyday of this year will add 230 million to industry losses, in total that is a loss of $84.3 billion” said IATA’s CEO’ Alexandra de Juniac in the Organisation’s Press release published on 9 June 2020.

In order to stay afloat, the Virgin Atlantic in the UK unveiled a 1.2 billion pounds rescue package to the airline which however came late as it has to cushion only 6500 jobs after 3500 had already been lost.

Similarly, Early July this year, The United Airlines, one of the big three in the US warned its staff that they may have to cut thirty six thousand staff and within the same period, Emirates which had around sixty thousand employees before the crisis was reported to be considering laying down nine thousand workers.
With strict lockdown regulations in India, IndiGo, its largest airline based in Haryana and employing a staggering 24000 workers is also considering cutting about 2400 workers off the payroll.

“It is impossible for our company to fly through this economic storm without making some sacrifices ,in order to sustain our business operations”, said Mr Ronojoy Dutta, the Chief Executive Officer of IndiGo in a letter said to be written to investors as reported by the BBC News.

The job cuts for airlines have also been witnessed at smaller airlines like Air Zimbabwe to put workers on unpaid leave in April this year after Covid 19 had struck.

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