Emirates tight-lipped over ‘temporary redundancy freeze’

Some Emirates pilots and crew have had scheduled meetings with managers cancelled after hundreds were laid off on Tuesday
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Emirates Airline

Emirates has declined to confirm whether it has temporarily frozen redundancies after laying off hundreds of employees on Tuesday in its second round of staff cuts.

A number of Emirates employees were summoned to ‘business update’ meetings scheduled for Thursday, only to have them abruptly cancelled on Wednesday.

It is understood that these 'business update' meetings are where pilots and cabin crew are informed of their redundancy.

A spokesperson for Emirates declined to discuss internal matters when approached.

Emirates on Tuesday laid off at least 700 cabin crew and 600 pilots. Bloomberg reported recently that the airline group, which includes ground services firm dnata, could reduce its workforce by up to a third, which would mean around 30,000 job losses.

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International travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have severely impacted airlines around the world.

Carriers in the Middle East are expected to lose $4.8 billion this year, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) latest forecast published on Wednesday.

The world's largest long-haul carrier has had to ground its A380 fleet and like all airlines is reducing fixed costs in an effort to save cash.

Commenting on job losses, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said on a video conference at the beginning of June that the airline had initially hoped business would pick up again by the end of May but had not seen signs of things improving.

“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.”

Emirates has begun operating scheduled flight services to nine destinations around the world including London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne.

The carrier is also ramping up its return to the skies with the resumption of passenger flights to 30 cities, including the relaunch of its transit operations.

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