Tunisair to increase capital, purchase 5 new aircraft and lay off 1,146 staffers by 2020 (Minister of Transport)
11/02/2019 20:56, TUNIS/Tunisia

TAP) - The restructuring programme of national flag carrier Tunisair aims to accelerate the operation of the capital increase, to convert the company's debts to many public companies into a contribution to their capital, in addition to purchasing 5 new aircraft and laying off 1,146 staffers by 2020, said Minister of Transport, Hichem Ben Ahmed.

Speaking at a hearing by the Committee on Administrative Reform, Good Governance, Fight against corruption and the Audit of Public Financial Management in Parliament, the minister stressed that the objective assigned to the restructuring programme is to reduce the company's losses.

The programme foresees the acquisition of 5 new aircraft from the year 2020 and renting other aircraft over a period of 4 to 5 years in order to overcome the problem of flight delays, he pointed out.

Tunisair will ask the government a budget of 100 million dinars that will be used to ensure the recovery of unpaid bills and balance the company’s finances, said the minister.

The minister also revealed that Tunisair will ask the OACA to reschedule its debts over 4 and 5 years.

The company also plans to lay off 1,146 agents in 2020 to improve its financial balances and reduce the number of agents operating on a single aircraft from 222 currently to 164 agents in 2020 to get closer to international standards, the minister said.

Under the programme, the company seeks to transport 4.7 million passengers in 2020 and increase the number of flights to traditional markets as well as new markets such as North America and Africa.

It also plans to increase the number of domestic flights serving the northern, central and southern regions.

On another level, the minister said the open skies agreement signed with the European Union (EU) will come into effect at all airports, with the exception of Tunis Carthage airport.

"This exception will cover a period of 5 years to allow the company to prepare for open competition," he added.

The minister also spoke about the financial difficulties faced by the company's subsidiaries such as Tunisiair Handling and Tunisair technics.

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