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COVID-19: Air Peace sacks 70 pilots, others

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ONE of Nigeria’s largest airlines, Air Peace has laid off 70 pilots and other crew service providers.

  The airline disclosed this development today in post on its Twitter handle by its spokesperson, Stanley Olisa.

  According to the post, the airline opted for this measure to respond to downturn in its operation since the global pandemic assumed more dangerous dimension.

  It further stated that those who were not laid off will have their salaries cut.

  “Air Peace is taking a very painful but rightful decision… to terminate the employment of some of its pilots” due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health. This decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3000 workforce including the affected pilots. Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period. Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff,” the statement said.

  Air Peace serves cities in Nigeria as well as elsewhere in West Africa and in the Middle East.

  Many other airlines in other parts of the world have taken similar measures to stay afloat.

  Global businesses have been hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic since its outbreak late last year.

  Nigeria recently eased the lockdowns on businesses and economic activities, but most have yet to fully recover.

  The coronavirus has infected over 44,000 and killed 896 people in Nigeria since the first case in February.

  It should be recalled that the pilots on July 22 had reportedly protested a major pay cut after negotiations with the management over their remuneration broke down.

  The management of Air Peace, however, denied the reports by issuing a statement that its pilots were not on strike as insinuated in the social media.

  But aircraft pilots and engineers yesterday vowed to resist the termination of employment of the pilots by the management of Air Peace.

  Speaking through their umbrella body, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, the aviation workers insisted that due process was not followed by the carrier in carrying out the exercise.

  The President, NAAPE, Abednego Galadima, said that pilots would resist the retrenchment of their colleagues at Air Peace.

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