Twelve-months unpaid leave offered to Emirates pilots amid ongoing coronavirus crisis

Dubai-based carrier said ‘more flexible working time models’ have also been offered

Dubai-based carrier said ‘more flexible working time models’ have also been offered

Dubai-based Emirates Airline has confirmed a selection of its pilots have been offered unpaid leave for a period of 12 months.

It is the latest cost-cutting measure from the carrier as the impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic continue to cause chaos across the aviation industry.

An Emirates spokesperson told Arabian Business: “We continue to do all we can to protect our talent pool for post-pandemic business recovery, but we also need to consider the impact of the current situation on our operations and cost base. Across the Group, we are implementing various offers including unpaid leave and more flexible working time models.

“We can confirm that we’ve offered some of our pilots unpaid leave for 12 months, with the possibility of an early recall back to duty depending on how quickly demand rebounds and our operational requirements. During unpaid leave, the company will continue to provide accommodation, medical cover and other allowances.”

Emirates declined to provide any further details.

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In August the company confirmed that it had asked cabin crew staff to take unpaid leave, believed to be between one and three months; while in June, it was reported that Emirates had laid off over 1,000 employees, including 700 cabin crew and 600 pilots, most of whom flew the superjumbo Airbus A380 or were in training for type-rating the aircraft.

Before the crisis hit, Emirates employed some 60,000 staff, including 4,300 pilots and nearly 22,000 cabin crew, according to its annual report.

The carrier’s chief operating officer Adel al Redha said earlier this year that the carrier expects to return to full capacity by summer 2021.

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