Riga Airport laid off 355 employees during COVID-19 pandemic

Riga Airport laid off 355 employees during COVID-19 pandemic

Because of COVID-19 pandemic, Riga International Airport was forced to lay off 355 employees. However, at the beginning of August 2020 it is planned to start hiring them back, as announced by the airport’s board chairperson Laila Odiņa in an interview to Latvijas Radio programme Krustpunktā on Wednesday, 8 July.

She said that traffic is picking up speed now that restrictions are slowly being lifted. The total passenger traffic decline in Europe is 96%. The situation is slightly better for Nordic States and Baltic States – the decline is 93-94% when compared to last year.

“From the beginning of the crisis there were multiple scenarios in development for the aviation industry’s recovery and every time there were three of them – optimistic, realistic and pessimistic. Riga airport picked the pessimistic scenario in the middle of March, which provided for a slow recovery of operations around the end of August with no more than 1.6 million passengers at the end of the year,”said Odiņa, explaining that this prediction was used to plan out resources and prepare plans to lay off approximately 570 employees.

“We picked a more appropriate, realistic outlook that provided for gradual start of recovery of operations in May, reaching 20-30% by the end of summer. We have reviewed out resources. This means 220 people were able to keep their jobs” said the head of the airport.

She said currently the airport has 945 employees – 353 have been laid off.

Odiņa says the airport actively follows development of the situation and if predictions come true, it may be possible to start hiring employees back around the end of August.

Last year, Riga International Airport serviced 7.798 million passengers, which is 10.5% more when compared to 2018. In Q1 2020, however, the airport serviced 1.251 million passengers, which is 12.6% less when compared to the same period of 2019.

Photo Credit : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riga_Airport_2016.jpg

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