The world’s biggest seaplane operator, Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), on Wednesday announced the decision to cut staff salaries in half, a measure taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the newly signed contracts, salaries will be adjusted as the economic situation improves. However, it also states that several employees are likely to be dismissed if the economic slowdown were to continue for the next four months.
TMA has a workforce of over 900 employees.
Seaplane operations have effectively come to a halt over measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The government imposed travel restrictions between resorts and inhabited islands, and on March 27 closed Maldives' borders to tourists.
Audit reports show that TMA made an annual turnover of USD 45 million (MVR 694 million) in 2019, and carried 450,000 passengers.
Experts predict that the aviation sector is among the most negatively affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. International Air Transport estimates show that the industry is likely to suffer a loss of USD 113 billion.