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State-owned Emirates Airline cuts jobs over coronavirus crisis Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

State-owned Emirates Airline cuts jobs over coronavirus crisis

The Dubai-based airline employs around 60,000 people [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 June, 2020

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Emirates has fired cabin crew and is planning to lay off more employees as it struggles to deal with the financial blow of the coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE's Emirates Airline said on Sunday it will have to start laying off staff, while many of its planes remain grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government-owned airline has laid off trainee pilots and cabin crew, according to a report by Reuters, which cited company sources.

The Dubai-based airline, which has around 60,000 employees, did not say how many of their workers were affected by the decision. Before the coronavirus crisis limited flight operations, Emirates was flying to 157 destinations in 83 countries.

According to reports, staff who were on probation were notified on Sunday that their contracts would be terminated in June.

The airline has resumed a limited number of passenger flights after suspending must operations at the end of March.

statement published by the Government of Dubai's media office cited an unnamed spokesperson for the company saying that Emirates will "unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people" employed.

"The current pandemic has impacted many industries around the world ... we reviewed all possible scenarios in order to sustain our business operations," the spokesperson was quoted as saying,

"The company is doing everything possible to protect jobs wherever we can. Where we are forced to take tough decisions. We will treat people with fairness and respect," Emirates Airline wrote, promising to "look after" impacted employees.

The news sadenned some of the airline's customers, who urged Emirates to 'do better' for their employees.

"Very sad to know. In this tough time, a big airlines can do little better for their man power. Hold them, or half pay," one person said. 

"Why can't they provide the number of staff fired?" another questioned. 

Read also: Emirates airline 'planning to lay off 30,000 staff' after grim financial forecast

The New Arab could not reach Emirates Airline for comment in time for publication.

On Monday, Emirates President Tim Clark said it may take the airline four years to rebuild its network, which has taken a hit by the pandemic.

"I think probably by the year 2022/23, 2023/24 we will see things coming back to some degree of normality and Emirates will be operating its network as it was and hopefully as successfully as it was," Clark was quoted by Reuters as saying in a webcast interview.

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