Coronavirus has led to flight cancellations around the world. The tourism industry has been hit, honeymooners are cancelling their bookings and people are refraining from any sort of travel altogether. Now the latest news is that 4 airlines have asked their crew to go on unpaid leave due to coronavirus. Cathay Pacific, Air China, Emirates and Lufthansa have urged their employees to go on unpaid leave for three to four weeks between March and June. This decision is taken after majority of their flights have been cancelled to South East Asia and Far East Asia.
What’s In It?
Reports suggest that Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Cathay Dragon cut down its flights in March from 1400 to just 350. A spokesperson of Cathay Pacific asked its employees to opt for the Special Leave Scheme (SLS), where they can have an option to take three weeks of unpaid leave. The CEO of Cathay Pacific, Augustus Tang estimated that around 75% out of their 25000 employees would opt for this scheme. Cathay Pacific has also cut down on its flight frequencies from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore till 28th March. And all 5 flights from Kolkata are shut down.
The second-largest airlines of Europe, Lufthansa stated that they will suspend flights to China till 24th April and to Tehran till 30th April. Frequencies of flights to and from Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong will be reduced. The airlines are also offering its employees unpaid leave but the terms for this is currently under discussion with partners. Lufthansa is also implementing different measures to lower costs including suspending or deferring all-new hires and reassessing current hires.
Middle Eastern giant Emirates’ COO Adel al-Redha stated that they have provided their employees with the option to avail leave or apply for voluntary unpaid leave for up to one month at a time taking into consideration the availability of additional resources. The airlines have made this major change to its staffing in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak as demand for air travel has taken a hit causing many of its flights to suspend select routes. Did you know France Urges People To Stop Kissing Each Other Due To Coronavirus?
Meanwhile, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation has instructed all flights to provide their personnel protective gear like surgical masks, disposable shoe covers and gloves. It has also urged all operators to make sure that all aircrafts arriving from Japan, Italy and South Korea are subjected to fumigation before their departure. The International Air Transport Association representing 90 airlines comprising 82% of international traffic asked global aviation regulators to suspend rules which compel airlines to operate 80% of their allocated slots. The IATA stated that airlines were experiencing a major decline in demand. And this was also a reason which urged airlines to ask their crew to opt for unpaid leaves. On a similar note, Mothers Granted Flexible Working Hours Amid Nursery Closure Due To Coronavirus