Azul airlines fires 1,000 workers, says union

azul airlines aviation brazil
Photo: Imprensa/Azul Linhas Aéreas

In a new blow to the already embattled aviation sector, Azul Airlines is said to have laid off more than 1,000 airport maintenance workers, according to trade union sources heard by the Brazilian press. They estimate that the layoffs may prompt Azul to abandon operations in 27 cities.

The company has not confirmed how many workers will be dismissed but says that roughly 5,000 jobs were “saved” due to agreements with unions, employing changes such as reduced working hours. It is also reaching severance and retirement packages with a part of its workforce. Another option would be to resort to an aid package from Brazil’s National Development Bank, which is under negotiation.

The job cuts happen as Azul tries to gradually resume operations. In August, it plans to increase flight offers to 303 a day — 290 percent higher than April levels, but still way below the 900 daily flights operated before the crisis.

Azul is the fourth Latin American carrier to face struggles in the pandemic. Brazilian-Chilean Latam, Colombia’s Avianca Holdings, and Aeromexico have all filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the U.S. Meanwhile, Avianca Brasil, which had filed for court-supervised reorganization in 2018, went definitively bankrupt with debts amounting BRL 2.7 billion.

Support this coverage →Support this coverage →