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Fiji Airways Cuts 51 Percent of Staff, Implements Permanent 20 Percent Pay Cut for Retained Workers

Fiji Airways announced on Monday that they have terminated 51 percent of their employees across the company, a total of 758 jobs. The carrier has also implemented a permanent 20 percent pay reduction for all retained employees from June 1st, 2020.

Fiji Airways Airbus A350-900 - Courtesy Airbus

Today, Fiji Airways announced they have implemented difficult measures to ensure the airline’s future, including the termination of 51 percent of the employees across the Airline Group, a total of 758 team members. The company has terminated eight expatriate executives, leaving 5 expatriates on the management team, including the airline’s CEO. Six local executives will remain employed, making up the majority of the carrier’s leadership team. Fiji Airways has also terminated the contracts for all 79 expatriate pilots and retained employees will receive a permanent 20 percent pay cut from June 1st, 2020. In Monday’s announcement, Fiji Airways’ Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Andre Viljoen said,

“This is a very difficult announcement, and one we are only making after exhausting all other options. The sad reality of prolonged flight suspensions means that we simple do not have work for a large segment of our workforce now, and for the foreseeable future. We have no other option but to terminate the employment of staff to whom we cannot provide work, which is an unfortunate but vital step we must take in order to protect our cash position and to preserve as many jobs as possible for those staff who the business needs in order to function today. When the flight suspensions were announced in March 2020, we implemented a series of actions aimed at tiding us through the April to June period, in the hope that the crisis would abate, and some level of demand would return. Most of our workforce agreed to a temporary 30-35% pay reduction. However, regrettably, all of our international passenger services remain suspended, and it is simple not sustainable to pay staff who are at home and not working, even at reduced salary levels. We have a responsibility to our shareholders, and to the Fijian people, to ensure that Fiji Airways survives this crisis.”

Terminated employees will be paid for a minimum notice period of one month, as well as any accumulated leave and other entitlements. In the near term, besides a permanent 20 percent salary reduction, retained employees will work between 2-5 days per week and will only be paid for actual hours worked. All safety and regulatory-related operations at Fiji Airways, such as fleet maintenance, continue as normal in compliance with Civil Aviation Authority requirements.

Source: Fiji Airways

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