SriLankan cuts staff salaries, freezes increments to survive COVID-19 crisis

SriLankan Airlines yesterday said it was implementing cost-saving measures including mandatory 2.5% to 25% staff salary reductions for a period of three months and freezing all salary increments to be implemented this year.

Releasing a statement, the national carrier said other initiatives including temporarily terminating operations from 8 April to 21 April with the exception of cargo services had a direct impact on saving costs.

«The Chairman and Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines are ever mindful of their duty to protect the country’s economic interests and livelihoods of the employees of the SriLankan family and are making every effort to ensure the business continuity of the National Carrier,» the statement said.

Globally, the airline industry faces its gravest crisis in the modern times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and some airlines are grounding their fleet either partially or completely, discontinuing all non-essential business operations, and sending staff on compulsory unpaid leave or imposing salary cuts to minimise costs and maintain their position as viable business entities, it said.

This is a situation that the air transport industry has never faced before and is placing unprecedented stress on the financial viability of many airlines and the economies of the countries in general.

«For this reason, the management of SriLankan Airlines has already taken measures to preserve the liquidity of the national carrier by negotiating deferred payment plans and deductions with the airline’s key suppliers. Whilst doing so, the Airline is continuously looking at creating new business opportunities whilst focusing on cost saving measures to improve liquidity.»

The management of SriLankan Airlines said it was making all endeavours to protect and safeguard its staff members and their employment with the total confidence that the airline would collectively overcome these challenges, with the strength of the airline’s employees.

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