KUALA LUMPUR: The founders of AIRASIA Group Bhd will give up their salaries, while its staff has agreed to take up to 75% pay cut as the budget airline grapples to manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, in an Instagram post late Saturday, said the airline has retained all its staff.
"We have never had a time like this before and we are doing our best," he said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has wreak havoc across the industry as governments worldwide imposed strict travel restrictions to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Fernandes, in his post, said he and executive chairman Kamarudin Meranun "will not be taking a salary during this period," while staff from across the business "have accepted temporary pay reductions" of between 15% and 75% depending on seniority.
"I thank them for their sacrifice and in keeping the big picture in mind," Fernandes said. The low cost carrier currently has "no revenue coming in" with 96% of its fleet grounded since end of March.
The company, he said still have "significant ongoing financial commitments" such as fuel suppliers and leasing agents.
Fernandes said the airline is "doing everything possible" to reduce costs during this period.
AirAsia, on March 27, has announced that most of its flights were suspended from March 28 to May 31.
Fernandes also encouraged the airline's customers to accept credit offers, as "a good alternative" for flights cancelled.
"While we strongly encourage you to accept the credit which is instant and comes with a 365-day validity and allows you to change your flight time for an unlimited number of times,we do accept requests for refund on a case by case basis," Fernandes said.
He said due to the "overwhelming" number of requests, it may take up to 16 weeks to process the refunds. The airline policy, he said, is "in line with many operators" in the travel industry and reflects its focus on returning to business "as soon as possible." "We have ensured that we adhere to all regulations and requirements of respective governments and consumer authorities and believe this is the best solution," he said.
AirAsia flies to 130 destinations across Asia Pacific. Together with its affiliates in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Japan, AirAsia is the largest low-cost carrier in Asia by passengers carried.
Source: The Star