SEOUL, Troubled carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. said Thursday it has offered a voluntary retirement program in an effort to make itself more attractive ahead of its planned sale.
The early retirement offer covers Asiana employees with 15 years or more of continuous service at South Korea’s No. 2 airline.
Asiana will receive applications from volunteers till the middle of this month. Voluntary retirees will leave on June 30.
Early retirees will receive a lump-sum compensation equivalent to two years of salary, plus financial support for their children’s tuition.
“Asiana has decided to conduct the program to induce employees to join self-rescue efforts to pull (the airline) out of the current liquidity crisis,” a company official said.
The move comes after Asiana said Tuesday it will carry out an unpaid leave program for all employees, except for pilots, flight attendants and repair crew.
Employees subject to the program will be allowed to take leave for between 15 days and three years. In February, Asiana initiated an unpaid leave scheme for section chiefs and higher-level officials.
In early April, Kumho Asiana Group, Asiana’s parent, submitted a fresh self-rescue plan to creditors in return for financial support, vowing to immediately start the process of selling Asiana.
Asiana has been under pressure to strengthen its financial health. The carrier owes financial institutions 3.2 trillion won (US$2.75 billion) in short-term debt, with 1.2 trillion won of loans maturing this year.
Last year, Asiana swung to a net loss of 10.4 billion won from a net profit of 248 billion won the previous year due to currency-related losses and increased jet fuel costs.
In March, Park Sam-koo stepped down as chief executive of Asiana after the company failed to win auditors’ approval for its 2018 financial report amid a cash crunch.
Source: Yonhap news Agency