Monacair, the luxury helicopter airline company, recently announced that it will be laying off almost half of its staff, or 32 employees out of a total of 76. One of the helicopter company’s main service is taxiing customers between Nice airport and Monaco in 7 minutes. During the ongoing pandemic, most people have stopped travelling, which has come as a blow to many tourism services.
Monacair issued a press release that explained the situation, saying that despite cash contributions made by the parent company, the sale of assets, the support of financial partners and the efforts of the State, the group is unfortunately forced to announce a restructuring plan which mainly concerns the positions of ground agents, ticketing and traffic, pilots and administrative staff.
On 4 May, Monacair reinstated its transfers between Nice Airport and Monaco. On 21 May, the date when Monaco’s Grand Prix was supposed to be in full swing, Monacair wrote on social media: “Today would have been one of the busiest days of the year in Monaco.”
Over the period from 14 to 30 June 2020, Monacair only performed 62 private flights compared to 367 in 2019 (less than 20% of flights). The company carried out only 34 transfers between Nice and Monaco versus 843 in 2019, or less than 5% of flights.
“With the end of COVID-19 lockdown, everything is slowly starting again. Yet our habits will be impacted by various new measures for some time,” the company wrote on their website.
Three job categories have been affected: 5 of the 25 pilots, 25 of the 37 ground staff (drivers, stopovers, ticket agents, etc.), 2 of the 6 administrative staff. According to employees, Monacair will be using its staff from Héli Sécurité, a French company based in Port Grimaud which is owned by Monacair.
The company has been in operation since 1988 and offers helicopter airport transfers between Nice and Monaco as well as private flights and tours.