Turkish Airlines introducing sharp wage cuts to overcome pandemic

Turkish Airlines will sharply cut wages of its crews and groundstaff until the end of 2021, but will avoid layoffs following an agreement signed with an aviation union, T24 news site reported on Monday.

The airline will reduce pilot wages by 50 percent, cabin crew wages by 35 percent and other personnel wages by 30 percent, it cited an official from Hava-İş as saying.

The wage reductions will be reviewed bi-annually until the end of next year, the official said.

No employees will be furloughed and the company will not employ a government programme that provides wage aid to employees, known as short-term labour pay, the union official said.

Turkish Airlines was one of many airlines badly hit across the world by the COVID-19 pandemic. Turkey halted flights on March 28, roughly two weeks after its first case was reported, but resumed them again in June as part of a nationwide normalisation process.

The airline reported that its net profit rose to 4.54 billion lira ($746 million) in 2019 from 4.04 billion lira in the previous year. 

Turkish Airlines had previously clashed with unions over proposals to halve pilot wages and cut salaries for other staff members to help shore up its finances during the pandemic.

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