COVID-19 Brunei: RB foreign pilots retrenched (2020)

BY Syazwani Hj Rosli

Foreign pilots at Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) have been retrenched as a result of excess manpower at the pilot level.

This was confirmed by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah as the RB Chairman in response to a question during the COVID-19 press conference at the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Thursday.

“It is true that we are letting go of foreign pilots. This is something we didn’t like to do but we are managing a business. We are not flying as frequently as we used to so we definitely have excess manpower, especially at the pilot level.

“We are seriously looking at cost management, so this sort of retrenchment is something inevitable. In fact, we are seeing this in many countries, in all airlines. But obviously that will not solve the problem, so we have to look at other cost containment measures.

“I think we all know that international travel will not come back any time soon.

“Some travel reports are saying it will take a few years before we can get back to normal, if at all. We have to be very careful about how we manage our business from here on,” the minister said.

The minister expressed gratitude to foreign pilots for their service over the years.

The minister added that RB will continue to fly to Melbourne, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Manila, with occasional flights to Hangzhou, which are mainly dedicated for certain group of people.

“Most of the time when we fly we are just carrying cargo, but now that we have the green lane with Singapore, we have slightly more passengers compared to the past. Once those people who need to do essential travel have already done theirs, they might not do it again, so the numbers could potentially come down,” he said.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin