Bristow fires over 100 pilots, engineers

 

 

Posted by Sade Williams 

 

Bristow Helicopters has, amid protest by aviation union, sacked over 100 pilots and engineers, citing Covid-19 impact and downturn in oil and gas business.

 

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), had since Monday, began industrial action at the company over pay issues, among others.

 

While the union accused the airline of unwillingness to  attend to the demands of the workers amicably, the airline accused the union of preferring to go on strike while abandoning a round table discussion.

 

But event took turn on Tuesday as the airline announced it could no longer cope with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic which has adversely affected its business line it has done to other businesses globally, adding that it will do away with the services of over 100 pilots and engineers immediately.

 

It added that ‘in compliance with the terms of employment, the affected individuals will be paid 3 months’ salary (excluding applicable deductions) following their exit from the company, adding also that the redundancy packages will be paid to them as soon as an agreement has been reached with NAAPE.

 

According to the company, ‘the spread of the Covid-19 virus has severely impacted all sectors in the aviation industry including our market, which primarily serves the Nigerian oil and gas sector.  In addition, the ongoing downturn in the global oil and gas market continues to influence and determine the demand for our services.  The combined effects of these ‘arisings’ has resulted in very significant reductions to our business particularly a reduction in the number of contracted aircraft in Nigeria. As a result, the company must now restructure all aspects of its business model (both Rotary & Fixed Wing), including an extensive review of its operations and we continue to drive efficiencies, but with zero compromise to safety and our core values.

 

“One of these measures includes the right sizing of the business to ensure that the company has the optimal level of personnel to continue the safe delivery of its services to its clients, whilst allowing the appropriate capacity for future growth.  Accordingly, and with much regret, the company has taken the very difficult decision to release over 100 pilots and engineers (both National and Expatriates) over the next couple of weeks.

 

“This decision has not been made lightly, but having considered the state of the business and the very serious constraints caused by the spread of the Covid-19 disease and the downturn in the oil and gas market, the company must now take this painful, but decisive step to ensure the continuity of its business and delivery of essential services to its clients.

 

” In compliance with the relevant labor and local content laws and also best practices; the company has engaged the leadership of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) to negotiate a fair and equitable redundancy compensation for the affected individuals.  In compliance with the terms of employment, the affected individuals will be paid 3 months’ salary (excluding applicable deductions) following their exit from the company.  The redundancy packages will be paid to them as soon as an agreement has been reached with NAAPE.

 

“The company remains focused on safety of its employees and clients as well as the delivery of an efficient and value driven service.”, the airline said.

 

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