Lion Air slashes 2,600 jobs as virus bites

JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesia’s Lion Air Group is slashing 2,600 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic hammers Southeast Asia’s biggest carrier, a company spokesman said yesterday.

The layoffs – about nine per cent of the airline’s 29,000 employees – would mainly affect contract workers, it said.

The job cuts come after Lion earlier reduced management and staff salaries. “Lion Air Group is in a difficult and challenging period due to the effects of… COVID-19,” said Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro.

“The tough decision is taken as a strategy to maintain business continuity, streamline the company’s operations, (and) to reduce expenses and restructure the organisation.”

Laid-off employees would be “prioritised” for rehiring if conditions improve, he added.

Lion Air aircraft are parked on the tarmac at Juanda International airport in Surabaya, Indonesia. PHOTO: AFP