EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) is offering partial pay to encourage its ground personnel to take personal leave from this month, in its latest effort to mitigate the financial impact from plunging passenger traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The carrier announced the program on Tuesday, allowing ground crew members to receive one day’s pay, including base salary and bonus, but excluding meal and transportation allowances, for three days of personal leave.
EVA Air will pay three days of salary at the maximum based on the program, encouraging its staff to take up to 14 days of personal leave per month, it said in a statement.
“As the pandemic has beaten the air travel industry and most of our flights have been canceled, we encourage our staff to take as much personal leave as possible,” a communication officer, surnamed Lin (林), told the Taipei Times by telephone.
While most local companies do not pay for personal leave, EVA decided to pay for part of those days off to help ease workers’ financial concerns, Lin said.
“We hope this will be a win-win solution. The company’s financial burden will be alleviated, while the staff will still have partial income while taking leave,” Lin said.
While Ministry of Labor statistics showed that the number of local workers on unpaid leave had reached 18,265 as of Thursday, Lin said EVA is different from those companies, as it only encourages staff to take personal leave.
Some EVA flight attendants have complained that they should also be able to join the program, but flight attendants already enjoy some benefits that ground staff do not have, such as up to 10 days of paid leave per month, Lin said.
Rival China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) earlier this week announced that it was cutting salaries for staff and management by 15 to 25 percent to weather the crisis.
Shares of EVA dropped 1 percent to NT$9.90 in Taipei trading yesterday, while those of China Airlines edged down 0.14 percent to NT$7.03.
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