The management of Bristow Helicopters Limited has announced t company’s decision to lay off about 100 pilots and engineers in the next couple of weeks.
This is coming barely 24 hours after another airline, Air Peace, sacked over 70 pilots under its employment, due to the Coronavirus pandemic crisis.
In a statement that was issued by the airline, it was noted that the decision was taken due to the negative impact of the pandemic on its operations. Bristow Helicopters also noted that it would use this period to restructure all aspects of its business model.
The airline’s management described the downsizing exercise as painful but inevitable, as it was done in order to ensure the continuity of its business and delivery of essential services to its clients.
The aviation firm, which primarily provides services in the oil and gas industry, revealed that it had engaged the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) in order to negotiate a fair and equitable redundancy compensation for all those that will be affected by this exercise.
Part of the statement by the airline said:
“This decision has not been made lightly, but having considered the state of the business and the very serious constraints caused by the spread of the COVID-19 disease and the downturn in the oil and gas market, the company must now take this painful, but decisive step to ensure the continuity of its business and delivery of essential services to its clients.
“One of these measures includes the right-sizing of the business to ensure that the company has the optimal level of personnel to continue the safe delivery of its services to its clients, whilst allowing the appropriate capacity for future growth.
“Accordingly, and with much regret, the company has taken the very difficult decision to release over 100 pilots and engineers (both National and Expatriates) over the next couple of weeks.”
Just yesterday, Nigerians woke up to the news that Air Peace had sacked about 70 pilots under its employment across its fleet and also reduced staff salaries by 40%. The airline said the exercise was due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on its business.
It added that the move was made to protect the majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in the future, as well as ensuring the survival of the airline.
Globally, the aviation industry has been one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic. Nigerian airports were shut from flight operations (domestic and international) in March as part of the measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Following the gradual easing of lockdown, the Federal Government announced the gradual reopening of the airports for domestic operations from July 8. The airports are still shut to international flight operations.