Riga Airport halts development projects, lays off staff as coronavirus grounds filghts

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-23 22:57:28|Editor: yan
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RIGA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- With the coronavirus crisis grounding almost all flights, Riga International Airport is being forced to scale down its development projects and announce massive layoffs, according to a statement posted on the airport's website Monday.

To avoid financial collapse, the airport's management has decided to cut 85 percent of development projects, slash 60 percent of operating costs and 40 percent of staff costs.

The airport's management explains that the hard decisions are being taken as the airport's revenue has plummeted to a critically low level in recent weeks.

Citing experts' forecasts, the airport's management said that the aviation industry would recover at a very slow and gradual pace when the coronavirus crisis is over.

The airport said people's previous travel habits would not return quickly due to health concerns, various restrictions and the economic impact of the crisis.

The airport said that over 500 of its staff are already idling, although they will keep receiving their salaries until mid-April.

Estimates suggest, however, that Riga Airport will have to go for massive job cuts this spring to ensure a fiscal reserve that will enable the airport to resume operations when the crisis is over.