(CMR) Cayman Airways Ltd. has informed its employees that they are now accepting requests for voluntary separation and/or early retirement packages. The move is being made after some staff expressed a desire to part with the company.
The announcement was made this evening by President & CEO, Fabian Whorms, via an email sent to the national airline's employees. The notification comes one day after the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Roy McTaggart indicated that Cayman was bracing for dismal financial times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The email noted that the airline will now be exploring offering a limited number of packages for full-time staff in the Cayman Islands. At this time, the packages will
“be completely optional and the exact composition of these packages is currently being defined.”
Employees have until next week Friday, June 5, to confirm their interest in leaving the company voluntarily. Whorms confirms that at this stage it is just to gauge the number of persons they may be interested but does not bind either party to take any further action.
The airline industry is expected to be hit particularly hard around the world as COVID-19 has caused many countries to close their borders. With travel coming to an almost complete halt around the globe reductions and bankruptcies are expected. There has already been an 80 to 90% drop in ticket sales for most airlines that still operate. A full assessment will be carried on on the true financial impact once airlines examine load reductions due to social distancing precautions.
The outlook is being closely monitored as some airlines have already declared bankruptcy. The remaining ones are researching how they can curb the risk posed to travelers.