Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Fiji Airways layoffs

Old 26th May 2020, 00:53
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Fiji Airways layoffs

Fiji Airways has laid off over half of its workforce. The Nadi-based airline yesterday announced that 758 employees who are not currently working and not expected to return to work anytime soon have been permanently stood down. The move comes amid the ongoing travel downturn caused by COVID-19 and revenues at the airline in sharp decline.
Fiji Airways has laid off half its workforce this week. Photo:
.“This is a very difficult announcement and one we are only making after exhausting all other options. The sad reality of prolonged flight suspensions means that we simply do not have work for a large segment of our workforce now, and for the foreseeable future,” said Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO, Andre Viljoen, in a https://www.fijiairways.com/en-au/about-fiji-airways/2019-media-centre/fiji-airways-announces-further-measures-due-to-covid-19-crisis/ on Monday.

“We have no other option but to terminate the employment of staff to whom we cannot provide work, which is an unfortunate but vital step we must take in order to protect our cash position and to preserve as many jobs as possible for those staff who the business needs in order to function today.”

The laid-off employees have 48 hours to return Fiji Airways property and collect their personal belongings.

A vital cog in South Pacific aviation

Fiji Airways is a small but vital cog in South Pacific Aviation. The airline’s 13 jets normally whizz around the Pacific as far afield as North America, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. But Fiji Airways suspended its international flights back in March, and those suspensions are ongoing until at least the end of June. The airline is operating some limited domestic and repatriation operations, but Mr Viljoen says revenue has all but evaporated, and there’s no relief on the immediate horizon.
Fiji Airways has suspended its international flights until the end of June. Photo: Getty Images.The employees who received the bad news yesterday will be paid a minimum notice period of 1 month plus any accumulated leave entitlements. Among the positions lost are eight expatriate executives and 79 expatriate pilot roles. The layoffs will halve Fiji Airway’s payroll expenses.

“These employee terminations are based on work available today and for the foreseeable future. These decisions have been carefully considered,” said the airline CEO.

Effective June 1, the airline is also reducing salaries by 20% for all remaining employees. Most employees will not be working fulltime, and employees will only be paid for days worked, although accrued leave can be used to top up salaries.

The airline is keeping employees with essential skills, training, and experience, such as aircraft maintenance workers and those in critical safety-related roles.
Fiji Airways is retaining employees with essential experience, training, and skills. Photo: Getty Images.

Fiji desperate to join travel bubble

Tourism dependent Fiji is desperate to be included in the proposed Australia – New Zealand travel bubble. Tourism is worth over USD$2 billion to Fiji annually – about one-third of the island’s GDP. All three countries have managed well COVID-19 outbreaks, kept infection and death rates low, and are keen to revive their tourism sectors. The majority of tourists into Fiji come from Australia and New Zealand, and an opening of borders between the three countries would provide a financial lifeline for Fiji Airways and the broader Fijian economy.

Andrew Viljeon sees his role as keeping Fiji Airways alive until border restrictions ease. When travel does pick up again, he hopes to be able to offer jobs to those employees who were terminated this week. He said yesterday;

“Tourism is the backbone of the Fijian economy, and it is dependent on a strong and sustainable national carrier. Fiji Airways will be vital in leading Fiji’s economic recovery post-COVID-19, and we take that obligation to the Fijian people very seriously.”
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Old 26th May 2020, 01:44
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It is an amazing world we are in now when so many highly paid and skilled professionals are left stacking shelves, quite unbelievable.
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Old 26th May 2020, 02:24
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
It is an amazing world we are in now when so many highly paid and skilled professionals are left stacking shelves, quite unbelievable.
It sure is. And the longer this goes on it will only get harder finding any employment. Thoughts go to all the Fijians/Expats who have just lost their employment.

Last edited by deadc; 21st Jun 2020 at 04:13.
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Old 26th May 2020, 02:47
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
It is an amazing world we are in now when so many highly paid and skilled professionals are left stacking shelves, quite unbelievable.
I actually was in my local Woolworths last week. One QF LH Cabin Crew member was working in Fruit and Veg, and a FO working in the Chiller section.
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Old 26th May 2020, 03:21
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Yep, I am working in a supermarket, two mates are now couriers and another working as a farm hand. Two check Captains and two Cabin Crew I had a coffee with this week are working in the Mail sorting office.
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Old 26th May 2020, 09:17
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The perils of being an expat in a foreign airline.

All 79 expats working for FJ have had their contracts terminated after already being on unpaid leave for the last few months. All local FJ pilots, for now, have luckily kept their jobs albeit a bit of a pay cut.

Wish all those affected the best of luck going forward.

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Old 26th May 2020, 16:13
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How much more can the aviation sector endure? So many of our colleagues are without jobs and I am sick of it. This is not about covid anymore. This is about how our governments are reacting to this pandemic and that is where the true killer of our livelihoods is. My sympathies to all those at Fiji Airways and around the world who've lost their jobs. This is very personal and after a few glasses of red, I throw every swear word under the sun at those responsible for these job losses.
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Old 26th May 2020, 19:17
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Originally Posted by f1yhigh View Post
How much more can the aviation sector endure? So many of our colleagues are without jobs and I am sick of it. This is not about covid anymore. This is about how our governments are reacting to this pandemic and that is where the true killer of our livelihoods is. My sympathies to all those at Fiji Airways and around the world who've lost their jobs. This is very personal and after a few glasses of red, I throw every swear word under the sun at those responsible for these job losses.

Yep absolutely spot on
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Old 27th May 2020, 05:43
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The irony of Google algorithms placed an advert for Countdown (NZ's equivalent of Woolworths) in the middle of these posts.
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Old 28th May 2020, 22:54
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Sad to hear over 700 employees were terminated rather than being placed on leave without pay/stood down. They have been told they can reapply for any positions that may arise in the future and that their previous experience will be taken into account.
Not good FJ management.
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Old 29th May 2020, 00:53
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Originally Posted by propelled View Post
Sad to hear over 700 employees were terminated rather than being placed on leave without pay/stood down. They have been told they can reapply for any positions that may arise in the future and that their previous experience will be taken into account.
Not good FJ management.
I've heard that quite a few have been tapped on the shoulder, and told don't worry, you'll be back.

Looking from the outside in, I'd say they think this is a great way to get rid of the ones they didn't want (union leaders, troublemakers, anyone with a less than idea work ethic, etc), but they had to get rid of a few others at the same time, so it didn't look like that was what they are doing........
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Old 29th May 2020, 09:20
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Originally Posted by foam View Post
I've heard that quite a few have been tapped on the shoulder, and told don't worry, you'll be back.

Looking from the outside in, I'd say they think this is a great way to get rid of the ones they didn't want (union leaders, troublemakers, anyone with a less than idea work ethic, etc), but they had to get rid of a few others at the same time, so it didn't look like that was what they are doing........
And I’d trust them 🙃
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:42
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Originally Posted by foam View Post
I've heard that quite a few have been tapped on the shoulder, and told don't worry, you'll be back.

Looking from the outside in, I'd say they think this is a great way to get rid of the ones they didn't want (union leaders, troublemakers, anyone with a less than idea work ethic, etc), but they had to get rid of a few others at the same time, so it didn't look like that was what they are doing........
that would be the expat 330 350 crew👍
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Old 29th May 2020, 22:20
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'Looking from the outside in, I'd say they think this is a great way to get rid of the ones they didn't want (union leaders, troublemakers, anyone with a less than idea work ethic, etc), but they had to get rid of a few others at the same time, so it didn't look like that was what they are doing.....'
I have mixed thoughts on that.. Hopefully FJ wont offer the new roles on less pay/conditions when normal op's resume. It could potentially be a way to re-hire staff at a lower rate later on..
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Old 30th May 2020, 01:00
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heard FJ taking staff back from late June 2020
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Old 30th May 2020, 02:22
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Exclamation

Originally Posted by BNEA320 View Post
heard FJ taking staff back from late June 2020
The garbage you pontificate is astounding.

We have news barely three days old on the unfortunate termination of the staff and then you have "heard" they are magically coming back before their notice periods are even up?
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Old 31st May 2020, 20:14
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So sorry to hear my former colleagues and friends being grounded... hopefully short term. All the best and may this turbulent time be swift.
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Old 31st May 2020, 21:40
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Wow! Another fantastically amazing post by BNEA320!
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