Malaysia Airlines offers staff unpaid leave option amid Covid-19 headwinds

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By Chew Lip Song

Hit by drastic drop in passengers due to Covid-19 fears, Malaysia Airlines has offered its 13,000 employees to take voluntary unpaid leave.

The national carrier, already struggling financially even before the disease outbreak, gave its staff the option of taking three months of unpaid leave or five days of unpaid leave per month for three months beginning in April, The Edge reported.

The voluntary leave programme is also offered to other employees in the Malaysian Aviation Group (MAG), including MAB Kargo, MAB Engineering, Firefly, and MASwings.

Previously, Malaysia Airlines group CEO Izham Ismail announced that the senior management would be taking a 10% pay cut and forgoing allowances to reduce operational costs.

“The impact (of Covid-19) to the market is tremendous. People are not travelling. Businesses are not operating as they used to, and the aviation landscape has changed tremendously. MAG is not spared from all of this,” he said in a video to MAG employees.

Malaysia Airlines has so far suspended over 1,600 flights.

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