Latvian gov't to inject 150 mln euros in airBaltic carrier

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RIGA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The Latvian government has tentatively decided to inject 150 million euros in airBaltic national carrier, which has been hard hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and is planning massive layoffs, local media reported Monday.

According to the minutes of the government's March 24 meeting, the 150 million euros capital increase is being planned in order to help the airline survive the crisis and to stabilize the national aviation industry.

Meanwhile, airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss told public media that the company has been constantly revising its plans lately and almost tripled the number of staff to be laid off after the pandemic has grounded nearly all commercial flights and bookings have fallen 98 percent on year.

On March 11, airBaltic announced it was cutting 250 jobs amid massive flight cancellations.

Now, airBaltic is going to lay off 700 employees offering them two options -- either to go on furloughs or terminate their contracts and receive severance pay worth two monthly salaries.

The company's management has promised to rehire the sacked employees when the crisis is over and commercial flights resume. The Latvian Transport Ministry has reportedly approved the layoffs as a necessary measure.

According to the Transport Ministry's information, airBaltic plans to reduce its fleet by 40 percent by decommissioning its Boeing and turboprop aircaft and keeping only 22 new Airbus jetliners. Enditem

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