Arik Suspends 90% of Workforce, Implements 80% Pay Cut

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Captain Roy Ilegbolu

Chinedu Eze

Nigeria’s major carrier, Arik Air has ordered 90 per cent of its staff to proceed on leave without pay till further notice.

It has also implemented 80 per cent salary cut for its personnel for the month of April.

This was contained in the mail the Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Captain Roy Ilegbolu sent to the staff, where he promised that the suspension would be subject to monthly review.

Ilegbolu noted the global economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected the world, creating uncertainty.

“After careful deliberation and analyses, management has decided to implement an 80 per cent pay cut for all members of staff across the entire organisation for the month of April 2020. Furthermore, commencing from May 1st 2020, no less than 90 per cent of our staff will proceed on leave without pay until further notice. This position will be reviewed on a monthly basis and communications on further developments will be shared by our HR department as the situation evolves”.

“With the current observed trend of events, it is prudent to lean on the assumption that the situation is likely to persist for a while longer.”

“Of huge significance to us is that we have suffered a sharp decline of over 98 per cent in our revenue streams since the suspension of our scheduled flights almost four weeks ago. Added to this is the rapid decline in the value of the naira by over 35 per cent against the benchmark and with oil prices now falling well below $15 per barrel, it is evident that we must, without further delay, take decisive action to preserve our organisation.

“Our focus as management has always been hinged on the well-being and safety of our staff, managing our liquidity as an organisation and creating the opportunity to ride out of inclement circumstances such as the one we are faced with today.

Pursuant to this, recently, we reached out to our suppliers, specifically negotiating reduced rates on all our contracted services and mitigating operational expenses due to changes in demand. We also implemented contingency plans for staff and introduced operational support flexibility,” he said.

The CEO however noted that notwithstanding that some of the measures taken so far have contributed to conserving “our limited resources”, he remarked that the outlook for the near future is not encouraging, adding that the airline’s current level of business simply cannot support its operations for much longer.

“For this reason, to safeguard the survival of our organisation, we are constrained to introduce additional measures to curtail our costs, as dictated by the turn of events.