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Covid-19 Induced Salary Cuts In Emirates And Etihad To Be Extended

Covid-19 Induced Salary Cuts In Emirates And Etihad To Be Extended
Middle East airlines Emirates and Etihad Airways are increasing the period for which their staff will be paid lower salaries till September this year because of the need to save on cash at hand during the economic slump because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic outbreak has hit the global aviation industry particularly hard because of severe travel restrictions imposed by many countries resulting in a slump in demand for air travel. The situation has also forced many of the major global airlines to cut jobs and appeal for bailouts by their respective national governments.
Since the state airlines Emirates and Etihad had grounded all passenger flights in March this year, the two airlines have had very limited operations with mostly outbound services from the United Arab Emirates.
But after the UAE last week decided to lift a suspension of services which allows passengers to stop off in the country in order to change planes, or for airlines to refuel, the two Gulf carriers are set to restart operations of some connecting flights later this month.
According to reports quoting sources and an internal email of the company, last week, Dubai’s Emirates informed its staff that it would be extending their pay cuts, which was initially imposed for three months was supposed to come to an end this month, would be extended till September 30. 
The airline also said that the pay cuts of some of the staff members would be deepened further and the basic salaries of some of the staff would be reduced by as much as 50 per cent, said reports quoting from an email that was sent to Emirates Group employees.
Reports said that the company made the decision after conducting a thorough review of all of the possible options available to it to hold on to cash.
There was no comment on the issue available from the state-owned Emirates Group, which employed 105,000 as of March and includes the airline among its assets.
On the other hand, basic pay of employees of Emirates had been reduced by between 25 per cent and 50 per cent from April for a period of three months. The company had however exempted its junior employees for the salary cut.
A spokes person for the Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has confirmed to the media about its decision to extend the salary cuts of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent till September with the same intention of preserving cash for its operations. The airline originally reduced salaries for the month of April.
According to the latest reports, after having laid off some cabin crew last week, Etihad was not planning on implementing any more redundancies of its crew members. The airline had cut jobs across several areas of the company’s  operations, said the spokes person of the carrier. There were however reports last month that the company was looking at laying off about 1,200 of its employees.
Just like many of the other global and national airlines, Emirates and Etihad have been forced to impose redundancies because of the economic impact of on their business by the coronavirus induced travel bans. 20 per cent of its employees could be laid off by fellow Gulf carrier Qatar Airways, said reports.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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