Bahamasair (UP, Nassau Int'l) and the government of the Bahamas are mulling over various cost-saving measures at the airline, including possible job and pay cuts, The Tribune daily newspaper has reported.

The airline's Chairman Tommy Turnquest said that while no decisions have been taken yet, "nothing was off the table" in the discussions.

"Bahamasair is supported by the government and the people of the Bahamas, its staff are fully paid yet there is no work. I spoke to my colleagues this morning in the Caribbean, and at some point in time we will have to make a decision whether Bahamasair staff who are sitting there and the aircrafts who are sitting there, should we pay them a percentage of their pay?," Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said.

Minnis underlined that while the discussions were still ongoing, he was strongly opposed to lay-offs and to permanent salary cuts. Instead, he would rather see the airline defer some salaries with the staff's current remuneration reduced to, for example, 70% of their full salaries with the balance due to be paid when the pandemic abates and demand returns.

Turnquest also said that it was obvious that Bahamasair would need extra funding from the government to cover the losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, estimated at USD10.5 million, which came on top of USD8 million loss caused by hurricane Dorian in summer 2019. The airline was due to receive a USD19 million subsidy in the current budget but the sum is likely to increase.