Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi-owned Etihad may temporarily cut staff wages

An Etihad Airways plane prepares to land at the Abu Dhabi airport. (File photo: AP)

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways told staff on Monday it would temporarily cut salaries by up to 50 percent for a month due to the impact on its business from the coronavirus outbreak, according to an internal email seen by Reuters.

The state-owned carrier, which will suspend its entire passenger network for two weeks from Wednesday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Executives, pilots and engineers will be paid half their basic salaries and cabin crew would be paid 25 percent less in April, the email said.

Other employees would also have their salaries cut and staff would not be paid their usual transport and other job-related allowances, it said.

“We will need to take some drastic measures to weather the storm over the next few weeks and avoid job losses as much as possible,” Etihad Chief Executive Tony Douglas said in another staff email.

The United Arab Emirates announced earlier that it was suspending all passenger flights for two weeks to contain the spread of the virus that has been linked to two deaths and infected 153 in the Gulf Arab state.

Etihad, which has so far suspended flights to dozens of destinations because of the virus, would survive the epidemic, Douglas said last week.

The airline this month reported an $870 million loss for 2019, its fourth consecutive annual loss. It has lost $5.6 billion since 2016.

Dubai’s Emirates, the UAE’s biggest airline, on Sunday said it will enforce a temporary 25 percent to 50 percent reduction in basic salary for the majority of employees.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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