Air Peace to downsize 60% of workforce

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Allen Onyeama, Air Peace chairman
Allen Onyeama, Air Peace chairman

Local carrier, Air Peace, has disclosed that it would be downsizing 60 per cent of its workforce although it may not be total sack, its chairman, Allen Onyema said.

Mr Onyema was speaking on the impact of COVID-19 on the airline sector in Nigeria on Thursday.

He was joined by the NCAA DG, Captain Musa Nuhu and other aviation leaders at an Aviation Webinar on ‘Flying Into Turbulent Skies, Safely Navigating Covid-19 Headwinds: Survival Strategies For Nigerian Aviation’ , organised by AELEX.

He also canvassed for elimination of in-flight catering as one of the ways to reduce operating cost after resumption.

According to Onyema, Covid-19 pandemic is more devastating than 9/11, adding that a lot of measures have to come to place as a way of mitigating the effect on businesses.

He said Air Peace has decided to stop in-flight catering going forward and will not deploy all its aircraft for operations as it has also decided to downsize workforce by 60 percent.

He said his airline that was operating 110 flights per day had reduced to 42 flights in a day before the lockdown, adding that a lot sacrifices would have to be made by employees and staff if the business must continue.

“This Covid-19 has brought a lot of new normal, it will affect the entire value chain, passenger figures are going to shrink, a new set of regulations will emerge.

And this is not about individual airline, we need to shun unhealthy competition, airlines need to stop serving food on-board, Air Peace will not serve meals again. We are going to downsize because the passengers will no longer be there, we going to deploy four out of the seven B737 aircraft and six out of the Embraer fleet.

“Lagos- Abuja is no longer going to be every hour, we are downsizing to about 60 percent and it advisable that every airline must operate according to its strength.

The staff must understand that sacrifices must be made, it may not be total sack because as operation rebound, you bring them back gradually.

Airlines can stagger the payment of debts in agreement with the company they are owing and NCAA has to be more proactive”, he added.

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