Nigerian airline company, Aero Contractors Nigeria Limited, has dismissed about 900 workers representing 60 percent of its workforce.

According to a statement by the airline’s media consultant, Simon Tumba, the airline which shut down temporarily in October last year but reopened in December, had been grappling with huge and unrealistic personnel cost as well as other operational challenges, worsened by lack of enough aircraft to keep all the workers meaningfully engaged.

Aero Contractors as at last September had about 1,500 workers on its payroll before it suspended flights.

“The issuance of notification of redundancy is a business decision that will ensure Aero’s survival,” he said.

“The current situation where over a thousand people are basically not engaged due to lack of serviceable aircraft is not sustainable for the airline.

“The huge monthly salary associated with a bloated workforce will eventually kill the airline, which is not the intention of the current government, which is not the intention of the current government.”

According to Tumba, Aero Contractors currently had aircraft-to-employee ratio of 1:500, which analysts believed was perhaps the worst in the history of the global airline industry.

He said, “This decision will immediately reduce the whopping operational cost, which has been stifling Aero; enable the management to bring in more aircraft through savings from overheads and pay for C-checks.

“It will also enable Aero have a more manageable and committed workforce in line with international best practices of 50 to 60 personnel to one aircraft unlike what obtains in Aero at the moment.”

Tumba, however, added that the workers would be paid their pension and gratuity.