Coronavirus: Emirates says no decision made regarding mass layoffs amid media reports
Dubai-based Emirates airlines has not made any announcement or decision regarding mass layoffs at the company a spokesperson told Al Arabiya English.
Earlier on Sunday, media reports had indicated that the company was considering cutting around 30,000 jobs at the airline, reducing the number of employees by around 30 percent. Rumors have also circulated that the airline is considering accelerating the retirement of its Airbus A380 fleet of aircraft. Emirates is the world’s biggest operator of the jumbo jet.
“No announcement has been made regarding mass redundancies at the airline. Any such decision will be communicated in an appropriate fashion. Like any responsible business would do, our executive team has directed all departments to conduct a thorough review of costs and resourcing against business projections, even as we prepare for gradual service resumption,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, Etihad and Emirates chiefs said that it could take three years for air travel demand to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“As our Chairman has said, conserving cash, safeguarding our business, and preserving as much of as our skilled workforce as possible, remain our top priorities through this period,” the spokesperson concluded.
Globally, airlines have been hit hard by the unprecedented shutdown of global travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. The industry’s representative body, the IATA, said last month that domestic air traffic is down around 70 percent, with a recovery over the coming six months likely to be slow due to the economic fallout of the virus.
The IATA also predicts that airlines will lose around $314 billion in revenue from the coronavirus pandemic.
UAE restrictions lift
Last week, Emirates announced it would resume flights to nine cities in eight countries, including providing connections between the UK and Australia, from May 21.
Flights out of the UAE were suspended on March 23 as officials moved to contain the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. Etihad, Emirates and other Gulf airlines have been offering flights out of the UAE for those looking to return, but incoming flights were still unavailable except for government-organized repatriations.
It is currently unclear when all government restrictions on passengers will lift. The UAE has temporarily banned visas on arrival for all nationalities and banned its citizens from traveling outside the country.
On April 29, Etihad Airways said that it would be delaying the return of regular passenger flights until June 16.