Air Asia Group’s CEO Tony Fernandes pledged to keep all of the airline’s staff amid the global coronavirus crisis.
The low-cost carrier has grounded 96% of its fleet and cut all domestic and international flights to the Philippines.
Fernandes said in a statement posted on Air Asia’s website that the carrier has “no revenue coming in” and also has “ongoing financial commitments” such as fuel suppliers and leasing agents.
The CEO also said he will not be taking a salary during this period and employees from across the group have accepted temporary pay reductions of anywhere between 15-75% “depending on seniority”.
“We are doing everything possible to reduce costs during this time so we can come back fighting as fast as possible and continue to be the world’s best low cost carrier,” Fernandes added.
Fernandes also addressed customer concerns about receiving refunds for flights.
“I know many of you have expressed frustration with not receiving a refund for your flights but I encourage you to accept a credit as a good alternative. More than 80 percent of you have accepted our credit offer and we truly appreciate this,” he said.
According to Air Asia, the credit is valid for 365 days and allows passengers to change your flight date for an unlimited number of times. The airline added that it does accept requests for refunds on a case by case basis but “due to the overwhelming number of requests” it may take between 12 to 16 weeks for the airline to address the refund requests.
“We’ve mobilised additional support to our customer happiness team, including 1,800 Allstars from other functions, who have rolled up their sleeves and volunteered to help, so more live agents are available to assist you via our LiveChat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter & WeChat 24/7,” Fernandes said.