(Ecofin Agency) - The Burkinabe national carrier Air Burkina sent its staff on technical unemployment for 3 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Considering the impact of the coronavirus on the financial situation of the company [...] Air Burkina staff is placed on partial technical unemployment as of May 15 for three months,” the MD Blaise Sanou said.
In a liquidity crisis, Air Burkina “will pay each employee compensation corresponding to 70% of their gross salary,” the MD said.
“During the period of technical unemployment, the staff is required to remain at the disposal of Air Burkina. This decision cancels any previous provision to the contrary, including the dismissal of certain employees.”
In a previous circular dated 17 April, a pessimistic Blaise Sanou said “no commercial flights are planned between April and June. Also, the opening of routes to Libreville and Abuja planned during this period are postponed to later dates.”
These three additional months of suspension of activities will probably allow Air Burkina to accelerate the negotiations underway with the American investor, African Global Development, for its partial resumption.
In an interview with Jeune Afrique on 30 April, Blaise Sanou revealed that if the “already very advanced” negotiations are successful, the estimated debt of $23 million would be cleared. The American buyer also undertakes to reinforce the Air Burkina fleet with new aircraft, including an Airbus 220, within 60 to 90 days.