Turkish Airlines has managed to avoid mass redundancies of pilots, cabin crew and many ground staff but employees will be forced to take huge pay cuts of up to 50 per cent through to the end of 2021.
The agreement between Turkish Airlines – which is known locally as THY – and the Hava-İş trade union will see pilots take the biggest pay cut with salaries slashed by half. Cabin crew will have wages cut by 35 per cent and other personnel will see their wages cut by a third.
In return, THY has agreed not to lay-off or furlough any employees and the airline will also turn down a government wage support programme similar to initiatives used across Europe, as well as the UK and Australia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought global economies to an unprecedented negative point in history has been reflected in Turkish Airlines’ commercial activities and cash flow directly and widely, as is the case with the whole civil aviation sector,” a memo from Hava-İş explained.
The union had clashed with THY over proposals to cut wages but has seemingly agreed to pay reductions in order to save jobs as the true scale of the Corona crisis becomes apparent.
The temporary pay cuts will be reviewed every six months with a view to restoring some or all of pay before the end of 2021.
Last month, Turkey’s civil aviation authority urged airline’s in the country to lay-off foreign expat pilots and cabin crew before firing local workers.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.