24th Feb 2020
Flag carrier Thai Airways International Public Co. Ltd. denied claims that it was cutting its employees’ salaries amid the 2019 novel coronavirus that dampened airlines’ financials.
This came after a workers’ union claimed on Thursday that Thai Airways Chairman Chaiyapruk Didyasarin told staff of the need to implement measures which will affect the management and staff, details of which will be announced in due course.
The union’s president, Nares Puengyam, feared that the airline will resort to cutting salaries and working hours, adding that it cannot implement such a plan without seeking consent.
Didyasarin supposedly said that the virus has had an unprecedented impact on Thai Airways and there was no telling when the outbreak will bottom out. He was said to have asked the staff to fully cooperate to ensure the company’s survival.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced earlier that it sees an 8.2-percent contraction in terms of demand levels for the Asia Pacific region as compared with the 4.8 percent growth projected earlier. This would result in some 877 billion baht revenue losses.
Meanwhile, low-cost carrier Nok Air already announced measures to reduce its operating expenses, including the possibility of cutting the financial incentives of its crew members and pilots.
A report by the Bangkok Post quoted Nok Air Chief Executive Officer as saying that the airline will reduce the per diem allowance, the bonus given for overseas trips, of some 500 pilots and crew members to offset the impact of the virus. The idea was said to be proposed by its employees.