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By:  Miguel R. Camus 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the ground handling company of Cebu Pacific to lay off more than 1,000 employees, or a quarter of its workforce, in the single-largest retrenchment in the local aviation industry due to the health crisis.

1Aviation Groundhandling Services Corp. on Thursday said the move was part of “drastic measures to ensure its survival” as the pandemic continued to pummel the air travel business.

“With a heavy heart, we are left with no other recourse but to let go of 25 percent of our total workforce,” the company said in a statement. The workers’ last day will be on July 20.

In April, 1Aviation laid off 400 newly hired workers, including check-in and boarding gate agents and baggage handlers, following the Luzon lockdown.

Other local carriers have also cut jobs to conserve cash amid the pandemic.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) laid off 300 ground staff, while Cebu Pacific retrenched almost 190 employees. AirAsia Philippines said it would lay off about 260 employees, including cabin crew, by the end of June.

The full report in today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer