Aviation Covid-19 Situation Report (30th-31st March 2020)

March 31, 2020

To keep our affiliates updated, we will be posting bi-weekly Covid-19 situation reports on our blog. These reports will focus on the effect the virus is having on the aviation industry, and specifically on aviation workers. These reports are a compilation of information that is publicly available and  provided to us by our affiliates.


If you have information to provide please contact us at civilaviation@itf.org.uk.


The ITF cannot guarantee that the information provided is accurate at the time of reading. This update is not complete as we can only post what information we have been given by our affiliates or on news outlets.


Keep up to date on all transport COVID-19 stories at https://www.itfglobal.org/en/news-events/covid-19-updates.




LATAM Argentina is claiming that they intend to reduce the salaries of workers by 50% despite a subsidy of 35% of its labour costs by the Argentinian government.




Virgin Australia is seeking $865m in financial support from the Australian government, a move supported by ITF affiliates. (See below)


ITF affiliate, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) has written to the Australian government in support of a bailout package earmarked for Virgin Australia. In its letter the ALAEA stated that it has had a positive industrial relationship with the company who have provided a good income for many Australian families, in particular after the collapse of Ansett Australia.




Unpaid leave for up to 12 months has been offered by LATAM to its workers as a voluntary programme agreed by unions. Unions are in dialogue to manage a suspected 50% reduction of salaries being requested by the company.




Air Canada will place 15,200 of its unionised workforce on “off duty status”. The number represents just over half of its total workforce.




LATAM has offered reductions of 50% of salaries but has guaranteed a “minimum ethical floor” of 870 USD for all workers. Unions are not accepting the offer and have help meetings to support workers who are receiving threats from the company.




Unions have reached an agreement with LATAM which protects jobs and the current CBA between management and unions.




LATAM is pushing workers to accept a 50% pay reduction, despite workers having not received a pay rise in 7 years. LATAM has offered a “ethical minimum salary” of 650 USD to workers. The union remains in negotiations with local management.


European Union


Eurocontrol has released figures showing a fall of 87% in traffic compared to the same date last year.


EasyJet grounds entire fleet for indefinite period.




Transavia France has extended the cancellation of all flights until May 3.




Lufthansa has signed agreements with its works council and trade unions to introduce short-time working for cabin and ground staff at both Frankfurt and Munich. The agreements will apply to at least 27,000 of the 35,000 workers at Lufthansa.


Berlin’s airport operator is preparing for a temporary closure of Tegel airport in order to save costs.




Lion Air has suspended services to eastern Papua until 9 April. We understand that this is due to the closure of airports in the province.


Citilink has suspended 10 domestic and international routes and reduced frequency on 4 others.


Catering company, AeroFood gas illegally terminated 445 outsourced workers. ITF affiliate GEBUK is fighting this but with limited capacity in the labour department they are having difficulties in making any progress.


AirAsia Indonesia will suspend domestic flights until 21 April and International flights until 17 May.




ANA has further reduced its international operations due to the Chinese government restriction on international flights.


JAL will operate only 28% of its international flights between 29 March – 30 April. It will operate 46% of flights to the Americas, and 27% of flights to Europe.




Malaysia Airlines will reinstate flights to Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Jakarta and Guangzhou from 1 April to 18 May.




Transavia has extended the cancellation of all flights until May 6.


New Zealand


Air New Zealand has announced it is to begin the process of cutting up to 3,500 jobs this week.




Russian low-cost carrier Pobeda has halted production until the end of May.




Asuncion airport has closed and ceased all operations.




LATAM has offered a 50% reduction in salaries to all workers, pilots have accepted but other workers have salaries of up to 10 times smaller. If unions reject this offer, the company is threatening to force workers to stay at home for 90 days without salary and mass dismissals.




All local flights to/from Dakar have been suspended from March 22.


South Korea


ITF affiliate, the KPTU has called on the government to prohibit dismissals starting with workers in the Yeongjong area and the aviation sector.




Airbus to pause majority of production in Spain until 9 April.




Thai Airways will ground 69 of its 82 aircraft as it tries to boost its finances.


Thai Unions and the Thai Airport Workers Alliance have released a press release calling on the Thai government to support workers in outsourced arms of Thai Airways. These workers earn minimum wage and Thai Airways have announced that contracts with outsourced companies such as their catering and ground handling companies, will be the first to go.


Thai Air Asia has suspended domestic operations for the month of April. This follows its previous suspension of international flights since 22 March.


Bangkok Airways is suspending all international flights from 29 March until 24 October and 10 domestic routes from April to October. To reduce costs, it has reduced salaries by 50% and relocated all outstation staff to its Bangkok headquarters. It will also renegotiate contracts, debt repayments, charges, and leasing agreements as it plans to remove some aircraft from its fleet. 


United Arab Emirates


Emirates is set to receive a capital injection from the Dubai government to support the airline in the aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak.


United Kingdom


Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet workers have been redeployed to assist in the NHS Nightingale Hospital being setup in East London as part of a government job retention scheme.


EasyJet founder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou has threatened to dismantle the company’s board if they fail to reduce the airline’s commitment to ordering future Airbus aircraft.


British Airways has suspended its operations at London Gatwick. The airport will also close its North Terminal from 1 April.


United States of America


United Airlines is extending cuts to its domestic operation to 52%, up from the previously announced 42%.


American Airlines will now pay a “partial salary” for its flight attendances who have accepted a voluntary leave of absence or ‘early out’ during the Covid-19 pandemic.




Vietnam Airlines’ domestic services have been suspended for two weeks until 15 April except for 5 routes from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

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