Cebu Pacific to lay-off 800 more employees by August amid coronavirus pandemic

Cebu Pacific is set to lay-off 800 more employees by August amid the coronavirus pandemic, considered as the worse crisis in aviation history.

The airline "is constrained to retrench more than 800 employees by August 2020," it said in a statement. "It was clear after this process that CEB was too big for the operational requirements and expected new norms in the industry," it said.

Cebu Pacific will be reviewing its long term plans with regards to its response to the crisis which has caused air travel demand to plummet. The review also includes other necessary factors like change in passenger choice, behavior, market movement, and others necessary for the airline to recover.

Just last June, the airline's groundhandling unit 1Aviation laid-off a thousand employees on top of its previous 400 in April. Last March, Cebu Pacific laid-off around 150 probationary cabin crew.

"CEB understands the potential difficulty to find employment at this time. Together with JG Summit, CEB will assist affected employees by connecting them to opportunities across the conglomerate.

"Outplacement sessions and malasakit transition programs will also be made available," the airline said.

The present situation

While Cebu Pacific has resumed its commercial domestic services, the airline is operating on just 10% of its total capacity. While the airline is ready to increase capacity in order to address the growing number of LSIs (Locally Stranded Individuals), the airline is constrained not to do so due to the lack of testing infrastructure at place in airports in order to enforce biosecurity measures.

Authorized government agencies are the ones incharge of setting up these facilities.

Another factor restricting recovery is the flip-flopping decisions of different local government units (LGU) with regards to opening their airports or not. There are some LGU who orders the closure of their airports at the last minute forcing the airlines to cancel their flights at the last minute also.

Downsizing inevitable

Airlines foresee that it may take 2 to 3 years for air travel demand to once again reach pre-covid levels, hence, the need to downsize fleet, capacity, and manpower, in order to cut costs. Many airlines have already laid-off quite a number of their employees from ground staff to crew to maintenance. Even airlines like Qatar Airways and Emirates have reduced the number of employees as a response to the pandemic.

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