China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) slashed their average year-end bonus payments on the back of weaker profits due to labor strikes, the two carriers said yesterday.
CAL cut employee bonuses from NT$27,000 (US$902) a year earlier to NT$12,000 for last year, as the company expected to remain in the red last year, it said in a statement.
Although the state-run airline has not announced earnings result for the fourth quarter of last year, its cumulative losses in the first three quarters totaled NT$346.43 million, indicating a slim possibility that it could post a profit for the full year, corporate data showed.
The company made a net profit of NT$1.27 billion in the same period of 2018.
CAL attributed the losses to increased operating expenses, as it dispatched more pilots to fill vacancies left by striking pilots in February last year.
To compensate its employees, the airline said that it would give out a safety reward of NT$30,000 in March and raise regular wages by NT$700 a month applicable to all employees this year.
“As the company swung into losses last year, it is difficult to negotiate for year-end bonuses,” China Airlines Employees’ Union president Liu Hui-tsung (劉惠宗) told the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times).
“Management has agreed to maintain payments at a similar level with past years, which is acceptable,” Liu added.
EVA Airways, which saw a significant reduction in revenue and profit when its flight attendants went on strike in June last year, also slashed its year-end bonuses from four months of wages to two-and-a-half months, it said.
Flight attendants who joined the strike would still receive bonuses, as the company treats employees equally, but bonuses would vary depending on performance, EVA spokesman David Chen (陳耀銘) said by telephone.
EVA’s cumulative profit for the January-to-September period last year contracted 46 percent annually from NT$5.98 billion a year earlier to NT$3.21 billion.
CAL’s revenue for last year declined 1.44 percent annually to NT$168.39 billion, while EVA’s edged up 0.76 percent to NT$181.27 billion, company data showed.
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