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Qatar Airways lays off 200 staff as coronavirus hits travel

Reuters/Manila/Dubai
Filed on March 18, 2020 | Last updated on March 18, 2020 at 03.55 pm
Qatar Airways, coronavirus, covid-19, filipino staff

(Reuters)

State-owned Qatar Airways had warned it would report its third consecutive loss this financial year.

Qatar Airways unexpectedly laid off about 200 Filipino staff in Qatar this week as the coronavirus outbreak forces the Middle East airline to slash flights, Philippine Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello told Reuters on Wednesday.

"Our labour attache is under strict instructions to determine what is the real cause of the decision of management to retrench them on the basis of redundancy," he told Reuters.

Qatar Airways did not respond to a request for comment.

The layoffs were reported earlier by ABS-CBN. It said the Filipino employees, including engineers and maintenance staff, were laid off on Tuesday.

The report said other employees also lost their jobs, though did not provide further details.

State-owned Qatar Airways had warned it would report its third consecutive loss this financial year, which ends this month, before the outbreak battered global travel demand.

Qatar has enforced strict entry requirements to stop the spread of the disease which has infected 442 people in the Gulf Arab state. All foreigners are banned from entering and the airline has cut flights to several destinations.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said $200 billion in government support could be needed worldwide to support airlines.


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