COVID-19 impact: GoAir terminates expat pilots

Coronavirus impact: GoAir terminates expat pilots amid curtailed flights

According to an airline source, it has around 80 expat pilots. (Credit: DH Photo)

GoAir on Wednesday said it has terminated contracts of expat pilots amid curtailed operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Citing "unprecedented" decline in air travel, the budget carrier, on Tuesday, announced suspending international operations and offering leave without pay programme for its staff on a rotational basis.

"In view of the current situation, GoAir has been forced to terminate the contracts of expat pilots which is in line with the reduced international capacity," a GoAir spokesperson said in a statement to PTI.

However, the spokesperson did not respond to a query on the number of expat pilots whose contracts have been terminated.

According to an airline source, it has around 80 expat pilots.

"... GoAir is forced to temporarily suspend all its international operations (Dammam, Kuwait, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bangkok, Phuket and Male) starting March 17 until April 15. No sooner the situation improves, GoAir will reinstate these flights and operate at the earliest opportunity," the statement said.

It also said that airlines across the world have taken drastic measures to handle this "extraordinary situation", referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Various reports have shown that world’s leading airlines (United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Emirates Airline, British Airways, Lufthansa Airline, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, Bangkok Airways et al) are reducing flight capacity between 50 to 90 per cent in April and May," GoAir said in a statement on Tuesday.

On Monday, the government prohibited entry of passengers from EU countries, Turkey and the UK from March 18 till March 31, as part of travel restrictions to curb spreading of coronavirus infections.