The Crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the aviation business. Ryanair, Europes’s biggest Low cost airline, announced it will cut 3.000 jobs. Mainly flight deck and cabin crew positions are under risk.
Lack of certainty as to when services can return to pre-crisis level, was one of the reasons why British Airways plan to cut over 1,100 pilot jobs. ”There is no ‘normal’ any longer”, said BA chief executive, Álex Cruz.
EasyJet, reacted very quickly in terms of union agreements. Johan Lundgren, the chief executive of the airline, said: “We remain absolutely focused on ensuring the long-term future of the airline, reducing our costs and preserving jobs, to make sure easyJet is in the best position to resume flying once the pandemic is over.” So far, the airline did not announce any dismissals.
Coronavirus kills air travel demand
Movement restrictions, imposed by governments, changed consumer confidence and airlines are experiencing rarely seen disturbances in the Industry. Despite the fact that airlines are in need of cash, Pilot Unions expect some airlines to take advantage of the current situation and dissolve expensive agreements. General secretary of Pilot union Balpa said : “There are many options to ensure BA can continue its business and survive coronavirus and Balpa does not accept that job losses are the only answer.”
German Lufthansa Pilot Union VC offered sacrifices up to 45% of pilot salaries for more than two years to help reduce costs of Lufthansa. The concessions value to more than 350 million euros and make a significant contribution, said the Union.
Airline’s workers go layoff, at least temporarily
The crisis has negatively affected every airline related staff. The layoff hits not only pilots and flight attendants, but any worker in any aviation department will be affected in one way or another. Currently, the number of airline workers who may soon get layoff from their job is increasing to ten thousand. Most of the airline’s workers are suggested to use their vacations and to take unpaid leaves voluntarily. By these measures, airlines hope to cut down expenses and maintain the budget to go through the crisis.
Several airline companies have as well frozen the hiring process, and many of them don’t have any plans to recruit new airline employees. However, this issue may cause an insufficient situation in supplying the workforce for the aviation industry after the crisis is passed.
Future of air travel
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, air traffic bounced back in 2003. Bankruptcies and mergers took place due to disruptions caused by the terror attacks.
Today’s crisis is driven by the covid-19 pandemic. Successful medicine and vaccination against the virus are requirements to full recovery. Governments and pharmacy companies are working closely to speed up processes and find solutions to the pandemic.
Airlines have always been a leading area indicator of the financial system. The outcome of an IATA-commissioned survey of passengers across 11 countries shows that the majority of travelers view themselves as prone to continue air travel within 1-2 months.
Besides health concerns, the speed with which consumers return to air travel will depend on their financial circumstances. The prospect of a global recession is just adding another challenge for airlines trying to increase consumer confidence to travel.