Turkish Airlines slashes wages to overcome coronavirus but avoids layoffs: union

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Airlines (THYAO.IS) will sharply cut wages of its crews and groundstaff but will avoid layoffs under a union-agreed deal as it seeks to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a union official said on Monday.

The flagship carrier will cut pilot wages by 50%, cabin crew wages by 35% and other personnel wages by 30%, the Hava-Is union official said. The pay cuts will remain in effect until the end of 2021 but will be reviewed every six months, the official said.

No employees will be furloughed and the company will not use the short labour pay, a government system that provides wage support to employees, the union official said.

Turkish Airlines later confirmed that it had signed a deal with the union but gave no details.

Turkey gradually restricted both international and domestic flights starting in February, as the novel coronavirus spread across the globe.

Foreign visitors virtually disappeared in April when a partial lockdown was in place, and have only started to trickle back. Arrivals were down 86% at 932,927 in July compared to last year, tourism ministry data showed.

Turkish Airlines’ revenue in the second quarter of 2020 stood at 6.18 billion lira ($843 million), around a third of 18.67 billion lira in the same period last year.

It recorded a net loss of 2.23 billion lira in the same quarter, compared to a profit of 133 million lira in the previous year.

Reporting and photo: Reuters

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