Etihad Airways reportedly laid off hundreds of employees, including cabin crew.


Etihad Airways announces job cuts amid Covid-19 crisis


DUBAI – Etihad Airways announced on Tuesday (May 19) it has laid off employees across its business units as the coronavirus affected air travel around the world.

“We are incredibly proud of our world-class workforce, however, we have had to make redundancies across several areas of our business to reflect current market conditions,” an Etihad spokesperson said in a statement.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline reportedly laid off hundreds of employees, including cabin crew to cut costs this month.

More job cuts are expected in the airline, which has more than 20,500 employees. The airline has recorded Dh20.55 billion losses since 2016.

“The coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to businesses around the world, and Etihad is no exception. It is clear the demand for travel in the near future will be significantly reduced and as a result we must make difficult decisions to ensure Etihad will weather this storm,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday, Dubai airport services company dnata revealed that the company has let go of a “very substantial number of employees” amid the Covid-19 crisis.

In a statement sent to media, a spokesperson admitted that the company has experienced “zero activity/income”.

“Simply put, no business is sustainable on such basis,” according to dnata, which employs 45,000 people around the world.

“Given this extraordinary operating environment we have had to take some difficult steps to adjust our business model and work hard as we right size our business for what, right now, is an uncertain future.

“Reluctantly this has also meant we have had to stand down a very substantial number of employees and have also had to let some of our people go,” dnata said.

The company did not say how many people were affected by the recent redundancy. Dnata is part of Emirates Group, which also comprises of Emirates airline.

On Sunday, Emirates revealed that the Dubai-based carrier is conducting a “thorough review of costs” as the airline industry continued to suffer losses due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus crisis.

The airline, however, denied that it is considering mass redundancies after news outlet Bloomberg reported that the airline was considering cutting about 30,000 jobs.

“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,” an Emirates spokesperson said in the statement.

“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,” said the statement.

In March, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group, announced that the group preferred to take salary cuts instead of job cuts during the pandemic.

Sheikh Ahmed said employees were given 50 percent to 100 percent salary cuts to help the business and its workforce survive the crisis.

“Rather than ask employees to leave the business, we chose to implement a temporary basic salary cut as we want to protect our workforce and keep our talented and skilled people, as much as possible,” Sheikh Ahmed said at the time.

“We want to avoid cutting jobs. When demand picks up again, we also want to be able to quickly ramp up and resume services for our customers,” he said. DAJ/Expat Media

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