Photo taken on March 14, 2020 shows the Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia. In order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Latvia will temporarily suspend international passenger traffic via its airports, ports and border crossings and ban all organized public events, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins announced on Saturday. (Photo by Janis/Xinhua)
Photo taken on March 14, 2020 shows the Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia. In order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Latvia will temporarily suspend international passenger traffic via its airports, ports and border crossings and ban all organized public events, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins announced on Saturday. (Photo by Janis/Xinhua)

Riga International Airport announced a massive layoff of staff on Tuesday, as all its operations have been at a virtual standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airport said in a statement that it has no other options but to lay off around 500 of its 1,200 staff members.

The decision on the layoffs has been taken after a thorough revision of all expenditures and unprecedented cost-saving measures, which have seen the airport’s investment plans slashed by 85 percent and operating costs reduced by 60 percent, said the statement.

Moreover, the airlines operating at Riga Airport have already canceled most of their flights scheduled for the next couple of months, with Latvia’s airBaltic carrier grounding 50 percent of its flights scheduled between April 15 and Oct. 31, 2020.

“Forecasts suggest that the impact from the virus crisis will last not for days or weeks, but for months and years,” the airport’s management said. “Today, we are fighting for survival.” Enditem

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