Air Arabia announces redundancies

Sharjah-based low-cost carrier said the cuts have been kept ‘to the possible minimum’

Last month, Air Arabia revealed a net profit of $17.3m for the first quarter of the year, down 45 percent from the same period last year.

Air Arabia has become the latest airline in the UAE to announce staff redundancies.

The budget carrier, based out of Sharjah, said on Wednesday that the lockdown, which was implemented at the end of March to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, had taken its toll on the company.

A spokesperson for Air Arabia said, as a result, “we have unfortunately been forced to make a necessary decision to let go a section of our staff members across the organization”.

The spokesperson added that the move was a “last alternative”.

No number was given in terms of the amount of staff impacted by the cuts, although the airline has about 2,000 employees. According to reports, it paid off 57 members of staff in May.

The spokesperson continued: “As we continue to manage the lasting impact of Covid-19 on the industry while sustaining our business, we have kept the layoffs to the possible minimum. We are hopeful that the sector will gain traction sooner, upon which we will further strengthen our workforce across the Air Arabia family.”

Last month, Air Arabia revealed a net profit of AED71 million ($17.3m) for the first quarter of the year, down 45 percent from the same period last year, amid the fall-out from coronavirus and tough movement restrictions.

In April IATA – the International Air Transport Association – predicted that global airlines need $200 billion of state support to survive and warned that if nothing is done, only about 30 of the nearly 700 airlines around the world will still be in existence in a few months.

Earlier this week Emirates announced that it would be making redundancies to its workforce.

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