Nigerian airline lays off two-thirds of staff to cut costs

2017-03-17 18:41
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - Nigeria's second largest airline Aero Contractors has laid off two-thirds of its workforce to save costs and prevent it from going under, a government agency official confirmed on Friday.

The company said in a letter to employees on Thursday that it was "constrained to place [them] under redundancy" because of "operational challenges" that had hit its finances.

In all, more than 1 000 of the 1 500-strong workforce will lose their jobs, Jude Mwauzor, a spokesperson for the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), told AFP.

AMCON acquired Aero Contractors in 2011 because of mounting debts and a lack of aircraft to service its routes.

The government agency last month also took over the country's main private airline, Arik Air, to prevent it from going bust because of spiralling debts.

"The management did not want to continue to live a life of lies. It had to rationalise to save the airline because there were too many workers doing nothing," Mwauzor said.

"The airline does not have the funds to be paying redundant staff. Our position is that the management has to stabilise Aero and return it to efficiency and profitability," he said.

In the letter, the management said it hoped that by reducing operational costs it would be able to beef up its fleet for passenger flights and helicopter services for the oil industry.

It used to have seven planes but currently only operates two while the others are undergoing servicing and maintenance checks.

The layoffs "will also enable Aero have a more manageable and committed workforce in line with international best practices of 50 to 60 personnel to one".

Huge monthly salaries "will eventually kill the airline" if nothing was done, it added.

Last year Aero suspended flights for four months because of funding problems linked to the lack of foreign currency caused by recession.

That has left airlines unable to pay fuel suppliers and in some cases landing charges at airports outside the country.

Arik, which has a 60% share of domestic flights in Nigeria, was taken over because it was unable to repay loans totalling $429m by the end of 2016.

Foreign creditors had also seized several of its aircraft.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?

 
 

Paws

How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.