The smiling island nation of Fiji relies heavily on tourism and without it, tough financial decisions need to be made, including Fiji Airways’ decision to terminate 775 staff.
It comes after the airline had to stop 95% of its international flights on March 20 as a result of the global pandemic.
In early May, Fiji’s national carrier announced the suspensions would last until at least the end of June.
“The sad reality of prolonged flight suspensions means that we simply do not have work for a large segment of our workforce now, and for the foreseeable future,” Fiji Airways Chief Executive Andre Viljoen said in a statement.
“Many large and respected airlines around the world are collapsing as a consequence of this unprecedented crisis.”
Fiji Airways Chief Executive Andre Viljoen
“However, we will do everything within our power to ensure that Fiji Airways does not suffer the same fate,” he said.
Fiji Airways also confirmed that a 20% permanent salary reduction would also be implemented for all employees from June 1.
The tough news comes just a week after Fiji’s Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyu expressed his hopes that Fiji could be included in the proposed “travel bubble” being discussed by Australia and New Zealand.
He said the government would ensure it had the necessary measures in place to safely open up Fiji’s borders.
Fiji only reported 18 known cases of COVID-19, but no new cases have been reported in the past month.
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