Earlier today, the Smartwings Group, comprising Smartwings and Czech Airlines, announced to the Labour Office of the Czech Republic its intention of collective redundancies. The company was forced to take this step due to the unfavourable situation in the aviation industry caused by Covid-19. Depending on the development of the situation, the reduction in the number of staff could affect up to 600 employees of the Smartwings Group.
The jobs affected include pilots, flight attendants and members of the operational and administrative non-aviation business department.
“We are facing the most difficult period of our entire existence. To save the company, we must apply painful but inevitable measures. The air transport industry is facing the biggest crisis in the history of aviation and it is our duty to make every effort to keep the Smartwings Group on the market and ensure it can provide employment and prospects to as many of our employees as possible,” Jiří Šimáně, Chairman of the Smartwings Board of Directors, said.
The decision on the first organizational change was discussed today with representatives of trade unions and concerns 29 employees. The termination of employment of redundant employees within the framework of collective redundancies should appear gradually from July 2020 to February 2021. At the same time, Czech Airlines and Smartwings will allow employees affected by the organisational change to switch to unpaid leave of absence status for up to one year. The redundancy process will follow the provisions of the Czech Labour Code.
The reason behind the reduction in job numbers is the unprecedented situation in air transport due to the spread of Covid-19, causing a dramatic drop in the Smartwings Group's revenues and the related forced reduction in the number of aircraft. In this context, we would like to point out that other airlines have been forced to take the same measures. For example, Lufthansa is currently planning to lay off 22,000 of its employees.