“Unfortunately, we will have to lay off about 20 percent of our workforce, equivalent to the number of planes that will not take off on flights three years ago. The decision is very difficult but we had no alternative,” CEO of the company, Akbar Al-Baker, told BBC radio.
“The process of quarantine in most countries around the world and the travel ban will destroy the sector and the industries that deal with it, and I don’t think it will solve the problem. You can look at what is happening in South Korea and other countries, even in Germany. The infection reappears. The only solution is treatment And serum. ”
Since its establishment in 1993, this is the first time that the company has taken such a decision and dispensed with a portion of its working capacity of more than 46,500 people.
Earlier this month, the state-owned company announced its intention to cut “a large number of jobs”, without announcing a specific number.
In other statements, Al-Baker told Reuters that the company is gradually rebuilding its network and that this requires time that may take four years. The official added that the pandemic will change the travel habits, explaining that the data suggest that many business trips users do not want to travel after entering the remote work method, in addition to the bankruptcy and closure of some companies due to the coronavirus.
The company has been a member of the One World Alliance since October 2013, and is the first Gulf airline to sign one of the three airline alliances. It is also among the fastest growing airlines in the world, and one of the six airlines that received the description of “five-star airlines” from Skytrax in terms of quality of services, a classification unique to Qatar Airways in the Middle East.
Civil aviation around the world is experiencing near complete paralysis after border closures and travel bans as part of measures to combat the spread of the Coruna virus.