Air transport: RAM is not the only company to reduce its...

Air transport: RAM is not the only company to reduce its...
Air transport: RAM is not the only company to reduce its...

55% of airline managers expect their workforce to be downsized in the next twelve months.

Royal Air Maroc is not the only airline in the world to cut costs because of the pandemic. Far from there. The trend is global: the aviation sector has been battered by the effects of the Covid-19 crisis. Several companies – if not the majority of them – have been forced to shut down their activities for several months, due to the closure of borders imposed in several countries around the world. Health crisis requires, travelers had to comply with strict containment and travel ban procedures. Airlines have suffered huge losses, with planes grounded for several weeks. To save their financial performance, they had no choice but to part with their human capital, among other decisions taken. The main global aviation operators have even had to reduce their aircraft fleets and review their flight schedules, or even keep only the most profitable destinations in their recovery plan. Thus, to compensate for a global airline activity in asphyxiation, rescue and restructuring plans have emerged within the majority of companies.

The examples are not lacking
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) unveiled the results of a survey of more than 300 airlines around the world last August. According to the poll, 55% of airline executives expected a reduction in their workforce over the next twelve months. 45% of them indicated that they had already made downsizing and 57% expected their profitability to decline over the next twelve months. 19% of respondents counted on a gradual increase in prices once the balance between supply and demand had been found.

Singapore Airlines has cut 20% of its workforce out of a total of 4,300 positions. His management said, in this regard, that the pilots have accepted pay cuts of up to 50% in order to save as many jobs as possible. At Qantas & Jetsar, 2,500 jobs have been cut and the company predicted more than 6,000 layoffs last August. Last September, British Airways laid off no less than 12,000 employees, including 270 pilots. From the start of the crisis, the British company signed an agreement with the Unite union, representing flight attendants and flight attendants, for a pay cut of 15% on average. The pilots, for their part, accepted an agreement to temporarily reduce their salary by 20%. In the United States, the company American Airlines laid off 19,000 employees from October 1. 17,000 were laid off and 15,000 managerial positions were simply cut. 10,000 voluntary departures have also taken place due to the crisis. Also in the United States, the company United Airlines laid off 13,000 employees and the Southwest was forced to separate “temporarily” from 27% of its employees. In Finland, Finnair has cut up to 1,000 jobs, or 15% of its workforce.

For its part, Kenya Airways foresaw, last August, the dry layoff of 1,500 employees out of 33,000, 2,000 voluntary departures and the non-renewal of 1,500 temporary contracts. For its part, KLM cut 5,000 jobs: 1,500 dry layoffs of its 33,000 employees, 2,000 voluntary departures and the non-renewal of 1,500 temporary contracts. Air France, for its part, was counting on a reduction of 7,850 positions by 2022, including 6,560 at Air France and 1,020 at HOP, i.e. a reduction from 16% to 17% of the approximately 45,000 employees then identified. In addition, the company has started negotiations with the unions, in particular concerning the recourse from November 2020 to the long-term partial activity mechanism which could last a maximum of two years and concern 50% of working time. As for Emirates, it has cut 9,000 jobs out of the 60,000 it identifies. The Lufthansa company announced last April its desire to cut 22,000 full-time jobs worldwide out of the 138,000 recorded. It also signed a short-term agreement with the pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit, valid until the end of the year. It provides that the redundancies of the pilots will be carried out at the earliest in the second quarter of 2021. In return, the pilots undertake to reduce certain income and gratuities.

On the Turkish Airlines side, an agreement was signed between management and the Hava-Is union on a 50% reduction in the salary for pilots, 35% for flight attendants and stewards and 30% for others. At Qatar Airways, the oldest foreign pilots were to be subject to a 25% reduction in their salary, and the youngest to a 15% reduction. The state-owned company made temporary cuts of 25% to 50% in the base salaries of most of its staff last March. Finally, Kuwait Airways laid off 1,500 expatriate employees, or 25% of its foreign staff. Today, according to IATA, airline coffers continue to empty and the recovery is not really effective. In fact, traffic slowed down again in September, after a slight improvement in July. Moreover, the same source forecasts a “sluggish” end of the year with a decline of 78% compared to the previous year.

Mariama Ndoye / Eco Inspirations

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