Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of the country, reportedly informed employees about the airline’s alleged intentions to put its foreign pilots on unpaid leave from November 2020. However, the airline did not specify the quantity of staff that would be affected.
According to an internal letter to Turkish Airlines flight crew seen by Bloomberg, the unspecified number of foreign Turkish Airlines pilots supposedly would be held on unpaid leave from November 1, 2020. The letter stated that the measure would potentially last for six months until May 1, 2021.
Turkish Airlines allegedly informed its employees that the foreign pilots unpaid leave would be subject to review half a year later. In an email sent on October 25, 2020, the airline did not explain if the changes would apply to Turkish nationals as well as for foreign flight crew.
Despite Turkish Airlines reporting a total net loss of almost $280 million in Q2 2020, unlike its competitors, the airline avoided cutting jobs or requesting any financial bailout from the country’s government. In order to cut costs and to save jobs simultaneously, the Turkish carrier decided to cut pilot wages by half throughout 2021 as well as decrease salaries for other staff of the airline.