Caribbean Airlines announced that effective October 15, 2020 it will implement some tough short-term measures to help decrease its operating expenditure in order to secure the longer term viability of the airline.
The airline did not outline the measures in a communique disseminated on Tuesday, but The Trinidad Express is reporting that the carrier will reduce its salary bill by sending some employees on no-pay leave, reducing the salaries of others and temporarily laying off a third group.
The measures will affect about 1,700 employees to varying degrees, but the most immediate impact will be felt by the company’s 250 pilots and about 375 flight attendants, according to the Sunday Express.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on airlines worldwide, and while our employees and Management Team have remained resilient, diminishing revenue has meant that our costs have outstripped our earnings,” the airline’s communique said.
Since May, the Trinidad based carrier was mostly funded from a US$65 million (TT$442 million) government-guaranteed loan to pay salaries and eased some of the debt the airline had acquired during its operations.
With the closure of borders in Trinidad and other some other Caribbean countries, Caribbean Airlines operations are limited to cargo flights, the domestic air bridge between Trinidad and Tobago, the Kingston and Barbados based commercial services and special government approved flights in and out of Trinidad.
The airlines said in its statement that these temporary targeted measures are aimed at reducing costs, and will not impact the quality of service, safety and customer care. It is committed to its mandate to connect the people of the region in spite of the challenges caused by COVID-19.