SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean airlines are on alert as the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow.
The Covid-19 outbreak comes with airlines already reeling from cutting flights to Japan as Korea and Japan were locked in diplomatic strife last summer. Now, flights to destinations in China and Southeast Asia are also threatened.
Eastar Jet, one of South Korea’s low-cost carriers (LCCs), announced Tuesday that it will cut management employees’ salaries by 30 percent for four months, starting in March.
In addition, all staff excluding flight attendants will be asked to work shorter hours of 3 days per week (24 hours), 4 days per week (32 hours), or 4 hours each weekday.
The airline decided not to authorize overtime except during emergency situations.
Jeju Air Co., the country’s largest LCC, also decided to management staff salaries by 30 percent last week as it went into emergency management. Unpaid leave, previously allowed only for flight attendants, in now available to all employees.
Meanwhile, Asiana Airlines Inc. announced that all 38 executives offered to resign to pull through the current situation. All executives stretching down to team leaders will see a certain portion of their wages withheld by the company.
Asiana Chief Executive Han Chang-soo will see his salary cut by 40 percent, while executives will give up 30 percent and team leaders 20 percent of their wages.
“We’ve never experienced this much crisis in the past,” said a source familiar with the airline industry. “We don’t know how long we’ll be able to hold on, even with the drastic financial measures.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)