West Indian international airline BWIA has warned it could go bankrupt in a matter of weeks if it does not get control of its costs.
Crucial to the survival of the struggling carrier, which has been plagued by labor disputes, is a deal with its work force, says BWIA President Conrad Aleong. He said that the Trinidad & Tobago-based carrier needs to trim USD310,000 per month from its wage bill.
At a press briefing in Port of Spain, Mr Aleong revealed that, in total, the airline is looking for cost savings of USD$1 million per month to balance its books. “If we don`t get the concessions from the employees by October 31 then we go into the hands of the creditors,” he warned.
BWIA, which lost USD$8.4 million in the first six months of 2002, has been considering a major restructuring plan that could see big cuts in its fleet, a trimming of its schedules and the possible sale of valuable slots at London Heathrow Airport.
The carrier told Flight International that it may also consider closing down its regional operation, Bwee Express, which flies services in the Caribbean.
The airline was privatized six years ago but the government still holds a 33.5 percent stake. This summer, it has suffered a series of labor-related flight delays and cancellations.