MANILA- AirAsia Philippines said Friday it was letting go of 12 percent of its workforce or over 200 employees, becoming the first airline to announce layoffs following losses because of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to a prolonged travel halt around the world.
"Despite all our efforts to curb the effects of the pandemic, AirAsia has made the difficult decision of reducing the company’s workforce, but has done everything to keep the number of affected employees to a minimum, totalling 12% of all Filipino Allstars," it said in a statement.
With a total 2,200 employees, the layoffs are expected to affect about 264 workers.
"For years, we have been able to carry out our vision of letting everyone fly with the help of our Allstars. AirAsia values each and everyone’s contribution to the company and we thank them for their service," the airline said in a brief statement.
AirAsia Philippines had to cancel all domestic and international flights for over two months- from March 20 to May 31- because of travel restrictions due to the lockdown enforced in Luzon and other key cities.
It had run an estimated 4,000 flights before the pandemic.
In early May, AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla told ANC the airline was looking at resuming 23 percent of its flights once the lockdown is lifted.
Metro Manila shifted to general community quarantine on June 1, with airlines gradually resuming flight operations as travel restrictions were loosened.
Also on Friday, AirAsia announced it was resuming flights in a few domestic routes between Manila and Cagayan de Oro, Cebu Puerto Princesa and Davao; Clark and Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and Davao; and between Cebu and Davao on limited days.
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Earlier this week, Yuchengco-owned House of Investments Inc said it was consolidating its Honda and Isuzu dealership and service centers in northern Metro Manila, displacing some 400 workers.
Hotel and motel chain Victoria Court also announced it was letting go of employees as it has gone on "survival mode" because of the impact of the pandemic.