Sun, Mar 03, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Domestic airline to trim workforce and cut back on flights

STRICT MEASURES Forecasting a one-third drop in business, Far East Air Transport Corp plans to pension off ageing staff and sack inept workers

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

With passenger traffic estimated to decline by one-third during the first half year, Far East Air Transport Corp (遠東航空) has decided to cut back its domestic flights and further downsize its staff.

"In accordance with the decline, we're streamlining the corporation by cutting managers' salaries, encouraging preferential retirements and laying off incompetent employees," the airline company's public-relations manager, Benny Tsao (曹冰瑩), said yesterday.

Tsao said that the company is expecting one-third fewer passengers to buy tickets during the coming six months compared to the previous six months.

We will therefore reduce the number of scheduled flights, she said.

According to Tsao, Far East has already cut the chairman's and the president's salaries by 30 percent and the salaries of its managerial staff by 15 percent.

The airline, in addition, is encouraging senior employees who have worked for the company for more than 10 years to apply for early retirement beginning from March 1. Preferential pensions will be offered to would-be retirees upon application. Each approved retiree will be entitled to a pension equal to their monthly salary multiplied by two times the number of years they have served the company, plus one extra month's salary as a bonus.

In addition, the airline plans to lay off some 10 percent of its work force -- which currently stands at more than 1,400, Tsao said.

"We may dismiss some employees who are underperforming or incompetent," she said.

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