Emirates: Hundreds of cabin crew and pilots lose their jobs in second wave of cuts

Emirates could eventually reduce its workforce by up to a third, according to reports
Emirates' A380 fleet has been grounded since the Covid-19 crisis struck, leaving hundreds of pilots without work.
Emirates' A380 fleet has been grounded since the Covid-19 crisis struck, leaving hundreds of pilots without work.

Emirates laid off 600 pilots, 700 cabin crew and a number of engineers on Tuesday in its second round of cuts and could eventually reduce its workforce by almost a third compared to pre-crisis levels.

Emirates last week made its first tranche of staff cuts, which included 400 trainee crew within their probation period and 180 pilots undergoing their A380 training.

A spokesperson for Dubai’s airline, which employs more than 4,000 pilots and around 22,000 cabin crew, confirmed that additional redundancies have been made but did not give a number. Numerous sources cited in reports have put the number at 600 pilots and 700 crew.

"We have endeavored to sustain the current family as is... but have come to the conclusion that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us," Emirates airline said in an email to staff.

In a statement to sister title Arabian Business, Emirates said: "After reviewing all scenarios and options, we deeply regret that we have to let some of our people go. This was a very difficult decision and not one that we took lightly. The company is doing everything possible to protect the workforce wherever we can.

“Where we are forced to take tough decisions we will treat people with fairness and respect. We will work with impacted employees to provide them with all possible support.”

Emirates this week revealed in an internal memo that it is extending 50% salary cuts until September.

The long-haul airline has been rocked by the coronavirus crisis, which has gutted international demand for air travel and caused most carriers to take extreme cost cutting measures.

Dubai’s government promised an equity injection for the state-owned carrier but Emirates has still had to reduce its fixed costs in order to preserve cash.

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said last week in relation to the first set of redundancies: “We’ve had to consider what the sizing of the airline is going to be. [Jobs] are one of the casualties of the operation at the moment. We can’t just keep our employees doing nothing for so long so we’re going to have to let some of them go unfortunately.”

Airlines around the world are set to make a net loss of $84.3 billion this year, according to the latest forecast by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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