Following last week's announced layoffs and a reduced amount of flight destinations, it has been reported that Estonian Air is facing the biggest loss estimates in the company's history.
The national air carrier's half-year loss is between 10-11 million euros, a source has told Eesti Päevaleht. Company representatives have remained quiet, maintaining that numbers will not be released until the supervisory board has audited the annual financial report.
Last Friday, the company announced it would let go 19 people from its office staff. But senior pilot Mart Lubi told Eesti Päevaleht on July 21 that the layoffs would affect on-board personnel as well. “Apparently, it won't remain a secret that [the layoffs] will include some pilots as well,” he said.
Pilots told Delfi on Monday that their union would contact Estonian Air's management for discussion this week. "We are quite angry about these rumors and we will try to clarify the situation,” the chairman of the pilots' union, Rauno Menning, said. "For us, Estonian Air's management's steps are unclear and the potential layoffs of pilots are incomprehensible - we are actually lacking pilots in some areas.”
Meanwhile, the management has claimed doubled passenger numbers for the first five months of the year. CEO Tero Taskila said Estonian Air's new business model requires large investments and applying new strategies takes time.
A former supervisory board member said the company has to decide whether it is aiming for a large profit or flying to many important destinations because reaching for both might be impossible due to the size of the company, the population of Estonia and its geographical position.