Cebu Pacific to lay off over 800 workers as virus impact 'worsened'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2020 01:54 PM | Updated as of Jul 09 2020 02:23 PM

A Cebu pacific jet is shown in this handout photo

MANILA - Cebu Pacific said Thursday it would lay off more than 800 employees by August as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to "negatively impact" the airline industry.

The worsening impact of COVID-19 prompted Cebu Pacific to reprioritize operating and capital expenses while employees were given the option for voluntary separation, one of the country's leading carriers said in a statement.

"As the impact of COVID-19 worsened, CEB took immediate steps to manage financial resources...Because of this, CEB is constrained to retrench more than 800 employees by August 2020," Cebu Pacific said.

"This is a difficult but necessary decision for CEB in order to fulfill its long-term commitment to provide affordable and accessible air transport services to the public," it added.

Retrenchment package for affected employees include tax free one-month basic salary for every year of service, gratuity pay equivalent to one-month salary, health coverage for the rest of the year, pro-rated 13 month pay, conversion of unused leaves and 2 round trip tickets to any destination, it said.

Pay cuts on the management to augment salaries of other employees were implemented while select non-essential projects were also deferred, the carrier said. New hires, promotions and salary adjustments were also suspended, it added.

Cebu Pacific restarted its commercial operations on June 2, after Metro Manila and other areas transitioned to general community quarantine after following an 11-week lockdown.

The current number of flights accounts for less than 10 percent of the pre-quarantine levels, it said.

AirAsia Philippines earlier announced it would lay off 12 percent of its work force or some 264 workers as it grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier said some 5 million Filipinos could lose their jobs due to the pandemic. Up to 10 million jobless workers is also a "possibility," he said.