Emirates Airline cuts staff salaries, suspends all passenger flights from March 25

Emirates Airline announced on Sunday, its decision to slash staff salaries, and suspend all passenger flights from Wednesday, March 25.

“Today we made the decision to temporarily suspend all passenger flights by 25 March 2020,” the airline said on its Twitter handle @emirates.

This precludes cargo operations, which are expected to continue in order to preserve the airlines operations, and secure jobs worldwide.

This decision comes two days after the United Arab Emirates announced the first 2 deaths from the Coronavirus disease, after recording 153 infections and 38 recoveries in the country.

“By Wednesday 25 March, although we will still operate cargo flights, which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended all its passenger operations. We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services,” the airline’s chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum assured in a statement to the AFP.

He added that Emirates Airline would only operate passenger flights to selected countries but could halt these flights anytime the situation turns for the worse.

Maktoum said that until January this year, the Emirates Group was “doing well” against current financial year targets, but “COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks”.

In response to the realities, he noted that the airline would also slash basic salaries — by between 25 and 50% — of a majority of employees for three months, but will not cut jobs.

“Rather than ask employees to leave the business, we chose to implement a temporary basic salary cut as we want to protect our workforce,” said Maktoum. “We want to avoid cutting jobs.” 

He apologised for disrupting passengers flight schedules and assured them of the airline’s commitment to minimising the impact of the decision.

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