AirAsia to rehire employees

Asia's Tech News Daily

AirAsia to rehire employees
© STAR/ File AirAsia to rehire employees

MANILA, Philippines — Low cost carrier AirAsia Philippines is planning to rehire employees it let go due to the   pandemic by the second quarter of next year as the airline anticipates recovery in demand.

In a virtual press briefing, AirAsia Philippines chief executive officer Ricky Isla said rehiring is a top priority and the carrier is looking to do this by the second quarter of next year.

“There will be more aircraft, more destinations, additional destinations, more flights. So, that’s the first thing we will get, to rehire our pilots, cabin crews, and of course engineers and maintenance people,” he said.

He said the carrier cannot provide details on the number of workers to be rehired, but the plan is to have a workforce that would be sufficient for the carrier’s aircraft and destinations.

AirAsia Philippines spokesperson Steve Dailisan said the number of employees to be rehired would greatly depend on easing of border restrictions.

AirAsia Philippines chief financial officer Ray Berja said the carrier has a current headcount of 1,500.

He said the carrier has been seeing improvement in passenger loads which reached 74 percent as of this month.

With the easing of travel restrictions and senior citizens or those 65 years old and minors or below 18 allowed to travel, he said the carrier is hopeful the passenger load would continue to improve to 80 percent by December.

“By the first quarter (first quarter) next year, 2022, we hope to achieve at least 90 percent of pre-COVID domestic capacity,” Berja said.

Before the pandemic hit, he said the carrier had a passenger volume of seven to eight million.

In terms of international operations, he said the carrier is set to resume flights from Manila to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore by December.

Berja said flights to Thailand and Malaysia would also be available in December.

Isla, for his part,  said the carrier wants to reopen more flights to international points in the first quarter of next year.

He also said the carrier hopes to see international operations in the second half of next year trending up toward normalcy.

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