Singapore-based low-cost carrier Jetstar Asia said Thursday (25 June) that at least 26 percent of its workforce, or about 180 people, will lose their jobs as the airline struggles to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and the near total shutdown of the aviation industry. The airline also said it will extend the furlough of the majority of its staff until December.
Jetstar Asia CEO Bara Pasupathi said the COVID-19 outbreak has “delivered the single biggest shock” to the aviation industry and the airline had to make “incredibly difficult decisions”. The job losses come as parent company Qantas Group announced it would fire at least 6,000 employees and ground 100 planes for at least a year as part of a US$10 billion cost-cutting exercise. Half of the Australian group’s 29,000 employees will remain on leave for months.
Jetstar services were suspended in March after the COVID-19 pandemic forced countries to restrict borders and international travel. Limited services to Manila and Kuala Lumpur to repatriate citizens and permanent residents or for those with prior written approval for travel resumed in April. Cargo flights were also resumed for Bangkok.
Jetstar Asia said the job cuts will come from across all parts of the business. It will also remove five Airbus A320 aircraft from its fleet, reducing it to 13 aircraft.