Qatar Airways is cutting the salaries of some pilots and will make others redundant to help reduce costs and soften the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The basic pay of two senior pilot grades will be reduced by a quarter while junior aviators will face 15% decreases, according to a June 4 letter to flight-deck crew from Chief Flight Operations Officer Jassim Al-Haroon seen by Bloomberg. The measures won’t apply to Qatari nationals.
The airline employs more than 46,000 people, according to its website, meaning the layoffs could affect about 9,200 workers. Carriers around the world have embarked on similar plans, with regional rival Emirates looking at reducing headcount by about 30,000, Bloomberg has reported.
The state-owned carrier said last month it needs to cut 20% of its workforce to adapt to reduced demand following the coronavirus outbreak, which prompted most governments to close borders and order people to stay at home. Flight-deck crew will be included in the plan, Al-Haroon said in the letter, with captains and cadet pilots alike to be impacted.
A spokesman for Qatar Airways declined to comment on the letter to pilots.
The Qatar Airways plan echoes a similar initiative by its government owner, which last week told state-funded entities to cut spending on non-Qatari wages to help shore up finances. Gulf nations have been hit by a double whammy of virus-related economic downturns and a fall in energy prices, reducing income from exports.