Covid-19 Impact: RwandAir Implements up to 65% Cut off Salaries

Yvonne Makolo will not pick her April paycheck.

KIGALI – Rwanda’s national airline, RwandAir, on Friday announced salary forfeiture and cuts off staff net pay amid revenue loss due to the ongoing suspension of flights to stem the spread of COVID-19, SoftPower News has learnt.

RwandaAir suspended for 30 days all its commercial flights from Friday 20 March 2020, affecting all scheduled flights departing from and arriving in Rwanda.

In a notice dated 24 April to all staff seen by this news site, the airline has taken measures aimed at reducing expenditure and protecting the company’s future well-being.

“As a result of  the Government directive to suspend all flights in the fight against COVID-19, the Company lost all revenue streams yet we are required to sustain the airline’s direct costs to keep the business running. This calls for Rwandair to take stringent measures to cut costs,” writes Yvonne Manzi Makolo, the Rwandair CEO.

Some of the decisions taken include forfeiture of net salary by the Chief Executive Officer and her Deputy as well as all Directors for the month of April, extension of suspension of pilot employment contracts and suspension of non-essential contracts until further notice.

Rwandair will re-negotiate terms with the staff to reduce expenditure and financial commitments as well as suspend all the allowances including that of communication.

Rwandair has asked its staff to utilize the annual leave during the suspension period.

“Management has therefore come to a different but necessary conclusion that, in order to maintain the current workforce, more stringent measures are required. These we trust you will agree are necessary and urgent in order to avoid suspending all employment contracts from this April due to the pandemic,” she said.

The company has therefore implemented net salary cuts depending on the current salary structure.

According to Makolo, the cuts will range from 8% to 65% off the net salary with the lowest paid getting the 8% cut and the highest getting the 65% cut.”

“Alignment of Outstation staff salaries to the local payroll (Country Managers to be paid as Senior Managers, Station and Sales Managers as Managers and Station Officers and Duty Officers),” she adds.

The Human Resource department has been tasked with reaching out to each staff to provide details of the percentage reduction on their salaries.

Makolo who will not pick her April paycheck said the stringent measures were a tough decision to take and management understands their impact on staff and their families. She thanked all staff for their solidarity against Covid-19.

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