CAMEROON. The coronavirus pandemic is not helping the country’s airline, Camair-Co, which has for years been plagued with different crises. The airline has yet again been a topic of discussion as it will lay off more than half of its staff. In a communiquée made public on June 22, 2020, the company through its General Manager, Louis Georges Njipendi Kuotu, has laid off 371 workers for a period of three months. The technical leave that started on Monday, June 22, 2020, according to the communiquée, might be renewable if necessary. This decision according to the top management of Camair-Co is to limit the unnecessary increase in salary debt, reduce the risks of staff contamination and control operating expenses.
The unending financial crisis. In a recent correspondence to Cameroon’s minister of finance, Louis Georges Njipendi Kuotu revealed that the total resumption of operations will not be considered before three months due to some financial constraints and the unavailability of fleets.
As of now , the company is currently not in possession of any operating aircraft. The two MA60s that were deployed on the domestic market are grounded as they require maintenance, while the lease of its single Bombardier dash 8 of Abu Dhabi Aviation unilaterally terminated the leasing contract to claim millions of unpaid bills. In addition, it’s two boeing 737 and 700 which have been grounded since February 2019 are still to be rehabilitated.
It should be noted that, during a simulation exercise carried out last April, the General Manager of the Airline company, had outlined that the total cost of technical unemployment, taking into account salary variables, was estimated at CFAF 1.479 billion. As of now, the company’s staff are owed wage arrears since March 2020.