[UAE] Ethihad And Emirates Extend Salary Cuts To September

12 JUN 2020

State airlines Emirates and Etihad Airways are extending the reduced pay period for their employees until September in an attempt to save money during the COVID-19 crisis, Reuters reports.

Aviation has been among the industries worst hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has massively reduced travel demand and forced major airlines to apply for government bailouts and terminate staff.

Gulf carriers Emirates and Etihad have operated limited, primarily outbound, services from the United Arab Emirates since passenger flights were grounded in March.

Some connecting flights are due to restart in June after the UAE lifted a suspension on services requiring passengers to change planes in the UAE or land there for refuelling.

According to an internal email, seen and reported by Reuters, on June 7 Emirates told its employees that it would extend a three-month wage cut - scheduled to end this month - until September 30.

Pay cuts will also be increased, in some cases, some basic salaries will be halved, the email to Emirates Group employees said. It noted that the decision was reached after reviewing all options to preserve the company’s cash position.

Basic wages had previously been reduced from April by 25-50 per cent for a period of three months. Junior employees were exempted.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has also extended its salary cuts of between 25-50 per cent to September, according to a spokesperson for the carrier, as it weighs all options to protect jobs and preserve cash. The airline had originally reduced salaries for the month of April alone.

At the start of June Etihad laid off some cabin crew but no further planning crew redundancies are currently planned, according to Reuters’ reporting on the internal email.

The spokesperson confirmed that there have been redundancies across several sectors of the airline. In May sources reportedly told Reuters that Etihad intended to lay off 1,200 employees.

Emirates and Etihad have laid off staff as a result of the impact of the pandemic on business, a move many other airlines have also made. Gulf carrier Qatar Airways has said it could potentially lay off up to 20 per cent of employees.

As of March, state-owned Emirates Group employed 105,000 people, the airline is one of its assets. Emirates Group did not respond to a request from Reuters for their comment.

Source: Reuters