Latvian airline airBaltic announced the collective dismissal of 400 employees due to decrease in demand and reduced number of flights caused by the coronavirus pandemic (covid-19).
airBaltic announced on 11 March that it was going to temporarily dismiss 250 employees due to the coronavirus crisis. On 13 March the number was raised to 400.
On 16 March the Latvian Aviation union has been informed that airBaltic has submitted the collective redundancy notice to the State Employment agency. According to the claim airBaltic plans to dismiss 260 employees (210 flight attendants and 50 other employees) and Aviation Crew Resources (subsidiary of airBaltic employing pilots) plans to make redundant 140 employees effective from 14 April 2020.
The Latvian Aviation union insists that no proper consultation has been done with trade union and the process should be cancelled.
The company previously declared that it will seek voluntary solutions, non-extension of probation time, unpaid leave and termination of contracts. The CEO of airBaltic stated that despite a very good start of the year, the circumstances have changed, and these measures are necessary to preserve the company and to be able to hire again in the future. The company will strive to maintain dialogue with the employees open.
The Minister of Transport said the airBaltic's decision to cut staff was in line with the current circumstances, saying that the air traffic is particularly affected by virus.
In total airBaltic has 1,786 employees.