"Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis in the world and the changing daily environment on the network of airBaltic, the company will reduce the capacity for the upcoming three months further," the company said.
"In line with the additional capacity reduction, the number of employees, mainly crew, will be temporarily reduced by up to 250 people. The company will seek voluntary solutions, non-extension of probation time, unpaid leave and termination. Today airBaltic informed their employees about the reduction plans during an extraordinary staff briefing," it added.
Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic said:
“This is a hard, but necessary decision. We had a very positive start of this year in the first two months, but now we are facing extraordinary circumstances. We must do this now to be able to rehire people and be back on our growth path once the situation improves. We will go through this difficult time together and maintain a close dialogue with our employees.”
“Right now, there is no option to continue as usual – flights need to be cancelled, aircraft grounded, we see a sharp and unexpected decline in bookings. But we are certain that the situation will get back to normal. We sincerely hope for understanding among our colleagues and the Latvian society in these difficult times,” Gauss added.
airBaltic currently employs around 1,600 people in total, so more than one in ten of the workforce will be affected by the cutbacks.
As of March 11, airBaltic has cancelled a total of 580 flights from March 31 until May 31. Due to health and safety reasons as well as actions taken by authorities, airBaltic has temporarily suspended flights to Milan and Verona until the end of April, while to Rome and Tel Aviv – until the end of May.