After its acquisition by fellow South Korean budget carrier Jeju Air fell through, Eastar Jet announced a round of layoffs as part of efforts to find a new investor to save the airline amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a phone interview quoted on The Korea Herald and The Korea Times, Eastar Senior Vice President Kim You-sang stated plans to cut more than half of its workforce – 695 out of 1200.
"Our lead managers and two private equity funds (that have an interest in investing in Eastar) want the company to reduce our fleet and workforce, among other things," Kim said in the interview.
Going forward, the airline planes to maintain 590 employees to operate six jets. The airline has a total of 18 Boeing 737 jets in its fleet.
Following the failure of the planned acquisition by Jeju Air, the airline has renewed efforts to sell a 51.17% stake in the budget carrier. According to the airline, four strategic investors have expressed interest in bidding for the stake.