Bristow Helicopters sacks 100 Pilots hours after Air Peace layoffs

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The management of Bristow Helicopters Limited has terminated the appointment of no fewer than 100 pilots.

Bristow Helicopters, in a statement on Tuesday, said those sacked comprised both Nigerian nationals and expatriates working with the company.

It explained that the decision to sack the pilots was due to the severe impact of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This was coming barely 24 hours after another Nigerian airline, Air Peace, sacked over 70 pilots over the COVID-19 crisis.

Bristow Helicopters added that it had engaged with the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers to negotiate a fair and equitable redundancy compensation for those affected.

“The spread of the COVID-19 virus has severely impacted all sectors in the aviation industry including our market, which primarily serves the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

“In addition, the ongoing downturn in the global oil and gas market continues to influence and determine the demand for our services.

“The combined effects of these ‘arisings’ has resulted in very significant reductions to our business particularly a reduction in the number of contracted aircraft in Nigeria.

“As a result, the company must now restructure all aspects of its business model (both Rotary & Fixed Wing), including an extensive review of its operations and we continue to drive efficiencies, but with zero compromise to safety and our core values.

“One of these measures includes the right sizing of the business to ensure that the company has the optimal level of personnel to continue the safe delivery of its services to its clients, whilst allowing the appropriate capacity for future growth.

“Accordingly, and with much regret, the company has taken the very difficult decision to release over 100 pilots and engineers (both National and Expatriates) over the next couple of weeks.

“In compliance with the relevant labor and local content laws and also best practices; the company has engaged the leadership of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) to negotiate a fair and equitable redundancy compensation for the affected individuals,” the statement explained.

Idowu Sowunmi