AirAsia Philippines said Thursday it will implement a gradual activation of its workforce who were placed under hibernation at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ricky Isla, chief executive of AirAsia Philippines, said in a virtual briefing that 432 workers including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and engineers were previously placed under hibernation at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reintegration of these employees will enable AirAsia to meet the growing market demand and prepare its workforce to deliver world’s best service to its guests, as air travel progresses with travel restrictions eased in all of its destinations, allowing enhanced mobility for fully-vaccinated individuals, he said.
“We are excited to welcome back our Allstars whom we’ve missed so much. More than just a source of livelihood, I know they can’t wait to paint the skies red, and write with us a beautiful and winning story of our post pandemic recovery,” Isla said.
“To say that the past months have been extremely challenging is an understatement. But we are all survivors, thriving amidst all odds. What we want to assure our guests is that during the process of reintegration, there will be no shortcuts, and we will continue to uphold the highest standards of safety in all of our training and procedures,” he said.
The gradual activation will initially cover 15 percent of the hibernated workforce, mostly pilots and cabin crew to undergo recurrent training starting in December, while the remaining 85 percent will be progressively integrated back into line in the first quarter of 2022 subject to market demand, said Isla.
The rehiring of former employees who were let go at the onset of the pandemic might come earlier than expected.
“Projections based on current vaccination rates among ASEAN countries are speeding up. As soon as there is steady demand for air travel, and border restrictions are lifted in the international destinations where we fly, we can start the process of rehiring as early as April,” Isla said.
“We will definitely prioritize our former Allstars [employees], and will also provide opportunities for new hires especially now that we are strengthening the offerings of the airasia Super App in the Philippines,” he said.
AirAsia Philippines will double and triple its weekly flight frequencies to most destinations such as Caticlan, Iloilo, Tacloban, Bacolod, Tagbilaran, Puerto Princesa, Kalibo and Cebu.
It will also retain its strong presence in Cagayan De Oro, Davao, Zamboanga and General Santos. AirAsia Philippines will return to Hong Kong and Singapore next month to service overseas Filipino workers who will return home for the holidays.