Singapore-based Boeing Asia-Pacific Aviation Services (BAPAS), a services joint venture between Boeing and SIA Engineering, has laid off 13% of its workforce, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect the aviation sector.

The move, which BAPAS says was “taken as a last resort”, will affect 27 of its 204 employees in Singapore.

BAPAS chief Alvey Pratt states that at the onset of the pandemic, which has seen a collapse in a demand amid travel restrictions imposed, it had implemented “significant cost-cutting measures, including adjusting our operations commensurate with the reduced demand for our services”.

The company adds: “[BAPAS] is facing significant financial challenges due to the economic downturn and the pandemic’s impact on the aviation industry continues unabated. Retrenchment is therefore taken as a last resort, having exhausted all other cost-saving options.”

BAPAS is now working with employee unions in Singapore to extend fair compensation terms and assistance to affected employees.

BAPAS, which began full operations in 2018, is 51% owned by Boeing, with SIAEC accounting for the remaining 49%. It provides fleet management services, including engineering, maintenance planning and scheduling, as well as operational control centre services, and materials demand planning and spares support for airline operators of the 737, 747, 777 and 787 in the region.

News of retrenchments at BAPAS comes weeks after engine-maker Pratt & Whitney cut a portion of its workforce in the city-state.

The lay-offs affect “less than 20%” of its local workforce in most of its facilities in Singapore, including its joint ventures.