The Kyiv international airport (the Zhulyany airport) has begun a phased layoff of its staff against the backdrop of the crisis that the aviation industry has found itself in as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kyiv international airport announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

"The leadership of the Kyiv airport is forced to lay off half of its employees in order to save the company from bankruptcy. The accumulation of problems has been accompanied by a lack of reaction and assistance from the government, the relevant ministry, and the Kyiv authorities," the statement said.

According to the statement, about 2,000 people are employed at the Kyiv international airport and the Master Avia ground handling company while an additional 8,000 people work in the related enterprises that work with the airport.

"We expect the recovery of demand for air travel to be slow and a return to the pre-quarantine levels to take a few years. The airport cannot survive on its own without government assistance. Unfortunately, we will have to make 50% of our staff redundant, including highly qualified industry specialists," LLC Master Avia’s General Director Oleh Levchenko said.

According to the airport, all its divisions are currently deciding how to optimize their operations and which employees to lay off.

As the CFTS portal reported, a number of airports, including the Kyiv international airport, requested state support on June 16. The companies compiled a list of measures adapted to Ukrainian realities that, according to them, should be taken to save the aviation industry. In particular, they called for provision of non-repayable financial aid to the industry to enable companies to pay salary arrears and abatement of the tax payable on it. In addition, they called for provision of targeted non-repayable assistance to enable them to pay their debts for the services that state enterprises and organizations have provided to aviation businesses by since the beginning of the coronavirus quarantine in the country.

In addition, the companies asked for assistance in obtaining long-term, interest-free, state-guaranteed loans from state-owned banks to prevent a crisis due to lack of working capital and to enable them to meet their current needs. They also proposed returning the extra amounts of money that airports paid as dividends for 2019 and reducing the dividend rate for airports to 30% for at least for five years.