Aircalin has made a social plan with salary cuts and early departures…
All the global companies severely affected by the virus crisis have taken swift and decisive action. Air Fiji laid off 51% of its staff… in May. The wages of the remaining employees were cut by 20%. Airnew zealand also reacted swiftly by announcing the dismissal of 300 pilots in May. The wages of the other 900 pilots were cut by 30%. Qantas did the same with the rapid dismissal of 6,000 of its 29,000 employees.
This is what is called being reactive. Certainly, it is a tragedy for all these employees, but there is a consensus that it is the only solution to save the companies. Aircalin has another strategy to face the crisis. The company has launched a social plan which will come into effect on January 1, 2021. The plan provides for early retirement and a 20% reduction in the wage bill. This represents a billion in savings. The wage agreement even provides for the payment of a thirteenth month’s salary to technical flight personnel (pilots and co-pilots).
The local government to the rescue?
The question now is how will Aircalin manage to get through the crisis? At present, only the line to Wallis and Futuna is operating normally. A few planes go to Japan. From there, the Caledonians can go to France. This traffic is too low to save Aircalin.
Unlike many other companies, Aircalin can count on its main shareholder, Caledonia. Indeed, the latter has obtained a 28 billion franc (383 million Australian dollars) loan from the French State. And it is about to ask for another one…