Caribbean Airlines to cut staff by 25% after $172 million loss

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has announced that it will cut approximately 450 jobs or 25% of its workforce as the company grapples with the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAL made the announcement in a media release on Monday (June 21) in which the company shared details about its unaudited financial results that revealed that during the first quarter of  2021, it suffered a loss of $172.7 million and a 75% decline in revenues.

The airline said the loss follows an operating loss of $738 million in 2020, with CAL noting that it had been operating at less than ten per cent of its normal flight schedule and was being kept a float through government support.

“As a consequence, Caribbean Airlines is required to take further steps to ensure it has a sustainable business model for 2021 and beyond. These steps include major cost reductions in all areas of the airline’s operations, specifically its human resource complement, its fleet and other assets, and its route network,” the statement said.

“Further, the airline was kept afloat through a government-guaranteed loan and a cash injection by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago totalling US$100 million,” the release stated.

Despite a recent announcement by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that the country’s borders will be reopened by mid-July, forecasters have predicted that travel, will not be the same, in terms of volume of travellers, as it was pre-pandemic.