Aircraft maintenance provider Lufthansa Technik Philippines said Friday it will lay off 300 employees in a rightsizing program to reduce its workforce by 20 percent to 2,700.
Lufthansa Technik said in a statement it reached the decision after a careful study and consideration of the company’s state of finances that reeled from the effects of the pandemic, both on the local and global aviation industry.
It said the rightsizing program, similar to other programs implemented in the past year, aimed to secure the fiscal health of the company to tide it through the critical period. It said the program would be temporary until the industry fully recovered.
“As a maintenance, repair and overhaul provider for aircraft, the significant fleet reductions announced by various [customer] airlines with some already in bankruptcy proceedings have a direct negative effect on LTP’s business,” said Lufthansa Technik president and chief executive Elmar Lutter.
The program will be implemented in two phases—first by voluntary separation and retrenchment, in the event the first option fails to meet the target retrenchment number. The package will be consistent with regulations on separation of employees set by the Department of Labor and Employment, it said.
The company said it took extraordinary measures to provide employment and aid to employees even at the start of the pandemic. These measures included flexible work arrangements that provided equal opportunity for employees to share in available work, provision of additional and advanced leaves to help secure employees’ finances and provision of tools to secure employees’ health such as face masks and vitamins.
Lutter said that apart from the annual physical examinations accorded to all employees, the company also extended health care program to include the care of the mental health of employees.
“Employees are provided with a facility to privately book sessions with expert counselors. Throughout this difficult period, employees were regularly updated on the business situation and provided context for every management decision. They were also provided a venue to easily share sentiments, concerns, and suggestions through a dedicated helpline,” he said.
He said the company’s commitment to the welfare of employees would continue even after separation. Qualified employees affected by the rightsizing program would have the option to enroll in the Salute Program that is designed to keep skills and authorizations current.
Affected employees will be prioritized for rehire, and their active participation in the program will ensure a smoother return. The program also includes assistance in skills training and consultation for those who wish to pursue new passions in the interim or for good.
“While we look forward to the soonest recovery of the aviation industry and wish for the same for all other industries affected by the pandemic, we also have to face the reality of its current state and make the necessary adjustments to ensure operational efficiency,” Lutter said.