Emirates Airline offers staff up to six months unpaid leave amid cost-cutting

Published: 17 September 2020 - 4:45 a.m.

National carrier Emirates Airline is now offering its employees across the group up to six months unpaid leave as cost-cutting continues across aviation.

The news comes just a week after the Dubai airline revealed its staff would return to full pay from next month. It also adds to the carrier’s announcement in July that staff could take four months of unpaid leave so Emirates could avoid mass lay-offs.

An email sent to staff on Tuesday said: “With the summer peak at an end, and following a review of our operating plan, we have more resources than required to support our business.

“Therefore, in order to reduce some of our overhead costs, we are offering employees across the Group the opportunity to take unpaid leave for a minimum period of one month and maximum period of six months.”

According to sister title Aviation Business Middle East, the state-owned carrier has been forced to lay off thousands of crew and pilots in recent weeks as the pandemic rages on. It is expected the group will lose around 10 percent of its total workforce by the time aviation bounces back.

Emirates’ officials are confident that the airline will return to 100 percent capacity by next summer. COO Adel al Redha previously told CNBC that: “Obviously the frequency of flights per day will depend on demand and some of the restrictions that we will need to unwind from some airports in some countries, but in terms of the airline network planning, by summer 2021 we’ll be covering 143 destinations.”

“If I compare our performance now with a month ago (July 2020), we have almost doubled the number of passengers we are carrying on board our aircraft – either transiting or terminating in Dubai – and that is due to the different measures. One of them is obviously the relaxation of entry rules that Dubai has introduced in welcoming tourists; that did help us quite a lot.”

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