Miami – Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Airlines (BW) has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, needing to account for a major decline in passenger numbers to ensure business survival. The airline intends to, according to a statement released on September 29, implement short term measures to position the airline for a better recovery beginning on October 15, 2020.
One of these measures comes in the form of salary reduction, with employees making more than TTD$7,500 a month forced to accept. According to the statement, the “reductions [are] tiered to be higher for those on higher remuneration.”
Caribbean Airlines also plans on temporary layoffs for around one-third of airline employees for three months, dependent upon “their role and the current needs of the business.”
Lastly, BW will continue implementing cost reductions “wherever possible, including reducing contractors and temporary workers and allowances that are not relevant at this time.”
The savings from such measures are projected to amount to around US$1.6m.
Despite reduced passenger numbers, BW still has a significant role to play in the Caribbean, having shipped COVID-19 aid to 16 islands in September. The carrier emphasizes that “cargo, the domestic air bridge between Trinidad and Tobago, the Kingston and Barbados commercial operations and special Government approved flights to/from Trinidad and Tobago will NOT be affected”.
Caribbean also states that employees impacted by the temporary layoffs need not re-apply for their positions, they will be brought back “in their original positions as the business needs warrant”. An employee assistance (EAP) hotline will also be available for all BW staff.
With a fleet of Boeing 737-800 and ATR72-600 aircraft while owned jointly by the governments of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, BW will hopefully be well-positioned for an eventual return to full service, connecting the people of the Caribbean within islands and to the world.
Featured image: Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 reg. 9Y-TAB departing FLL Photo: © Max Taubman – @maximumaviation