Local airline FlyMe, operated by Villa Air on Saturday, decided to lay off over 200 of its staff.
According to a circular released by FlyMe's Managing Director Abdulla Nashid, the airline was forced to cut costs amid the ongoing financial regressions as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, announcing that notices for termination will be handed out beginning July 1.
Moreover, he noted that employees may opt for 'no-pay' leave and return to the company once business is more stable, noting that former employees will be appraised when hiring staff in the future.
"This was a decision we have been reluctant to make", said the Managing Director.
The director further stated that it is unlikely to see tourist movements within the next three months, adding that countries such as Germany had decided to extend travel restrictions until September, with more countries expected to follow suit.
Furthermore, Nashid said that FlyMe is yet to receive payments for certain services provided prior to COVID-19, and that the company faces difficulty in acquiring finances during the period.
Speaking anonymously to local media Mihaaru, an employee at FlyMe revealed prior to the circular that management had informed them over the decision to lay off roughly 75 percent of its staff on June 18.
He further said that priority was given to maintenance and technical staff such as engineers.
At present, FlyMe employs approximately 300 individuals, some of which noted receiving full salaries until March. However, as the company is operated under the Villa Group and is subject to their financial policies, employees now receive a "token salary" of MVR 1,000 each month.
From March 29 onwards, all four FlyMe aircraft have been grounded at Maamigili Airport.