Nigeria’s largest airline Air Peace said on Tuesday it had laid off a number of pilots and cut salaries in order to cope with the impact of the coronavirus on its operations.
The private carrier did not disclose the number of pilots affected, but industry sources put the figure at around 70.
Air Peace serves cities in Nigeria, as well as elsewhere in West Africa and in the Middle East.
The group said it had “taken a very painful but rightful decision… to terminate the employment of some of its pilots” due to “the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health”.
“This decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3 000 workforce,” including the affected pilots, it said in a statement.
“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period. Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff.”
Nigeria recently eased the lockdowns on businesses and economic activities, but most have yet to fully recover.
The virus has infected over 44 000 and killed 896 people in Nigeria since the first case in February.