THAI denies sales slump will force pay cuts
National carrier Thai Airways International (THAI) denies it is cutting staff salaries in light of the Covid-19 outbreak which has dented the finances of many airlines.
The announcement came on the heels of warning by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that its initial assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak is for a 8.2% full-year contraction rather than the earlier predicted 4.8% growth in demand levels for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Under this scenario, airlines could suffer a $27.8 billion (877 billion baht) revenue loss in 2020 in the Asia-Pacific region -- the bulk of which would be borne by carriers in China, with $12.8 billion lost in the Chinese domestic market alone.
On Thursday, the THAI workers' union said the airline's chairman, ACM Chaiyapruk Didyasarin, had told staff that Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact and there was no telling when the problem will bottom out. For this reason, the company felt the need to implement a variety of measures which will affect the management and staff. The steps will be announced in due course and the company sought the staff's full cooperation to ensure the airline's survival.
Nares Puengyam, the union president, said staff were worried the airline was planning to reduce salaries and working hours. Mr Nares said the company may resort to slashing overtime but cannot cut salaries or working hours without consent.