Emirates Airline says must cut jobs over virus crisis

DUBAI (AFP) – Emirates Airline said yesterday it will have to cut jobs after being forced to ground its fleet during the coronavirus crisis, but did not specify the extent of the layoffs.

The Dubai carrier, the largest in the Middle East, announced in March temporary cuts of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent in basic salaries for most employees after halting its operations.

It employs a workforce that is around 100,000-strong, with a fleet of 270 wide-bodied aircraft.

“We reviewed all possible scenarios to sustain our business operations, but we have come to the conclusion that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us,” the airline said in a statement.

“We continuously are reassessing the situation and will have to adapt to this transitional period,” it said.

“We do not view this lightly, and the company is doing everything possible to protect jobs wherever we can.”

Emirates said on May 10 that it would take at least 18 months for travel demand to return to “a semblance of normality”, even after reporting bumper pre-pandemic profits.

An Emirates Airline A-380 flies over Dubai, United Arab Emirates. PHOTO: AP