UAE budget airline Air Arabia has laid off 57 employees because of pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Air Arabia’s passenger services remain grounded as the UAE’s flight suspension remains in force.
A spokesperson for the airline told Reuters that the airline had to make the “unfortunate” decision to lay off a small number of staff this week.
“This is the first time in our history that we were forced to do so taking into consideration the current market realities,” the spokesman said.The airline did not reveal which departments or kinds of employees were affected by the lay-offs.
Additionally, Air Arabia said that measures are being taken to protect jobs, although no further details were revealed.
The spokesperson added: “We will continue to do everything possible to safeguard our employees by keeping layoffs to the minimum and only as a last resort.”
Airlines across the region are facing a liquidity crisis and are taking measures to conserve cash, including asking employees to take unpaid leave and salary cuts.
With airlines in the Middle East expected to lose at least $20 billion in revenues this year, more job losses are expected across the sector.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that job losses in aviation and related industries could grow to 1.2 million, representing half of the region’s 2.4 million aviation-related jobs.