Ever since Emirates stopped cabin crew recruitment in December 2016, we’ve reported on some of the biggest rumours that have come out of the company. There was intelligence that Emirates had fired a number of staff – including in Human Resources and Recruitment. And there was the news the airline was moving cabin crew into cheaper out of town accommodation.
Then there were the rumours about when recruitment would restart. It turns out, many of these of reports weren’t entirely accurate – not because Emirates had actually started recruitment again but rather because the hiring freeze has gone on for way longer than anyone could imagine.
Yet, here’s comes another rumour – and we must stress, it’s only a rumour. Several sources have told us Emirates does not plan to recruit any new cabin crew until December 2018. Yes, that’s right… a two-year recruitment freeze with over a year still to go.
The rumour is now widely known across the company but unfortunately, the original source hasn’t been traced. We don’t, therefore know, whether this is a case of careless chatter amongst cabin crew taking on a life of its own or if there really is something to behind these reports.
What’s even more troubling is the separate news that Emirates plans to make a large percentage of its full-time training staff redundant over the next few months. They are the men and women who would lead ab initio cabin crew training so these reports really add weight to the recruitment freeze rumour.
It seems almost incomprehensible that an airline the size of Emirates wouldn’t need to recruit any new cabin crew in over two years. The airline has over 23,000 cabin crew – around 25 crew are needed to operate just one Airbus A380 and as we learnt the other day, Emirates just took delivery of its 100th such aircraft.
Another 42 A380’s are still to be delivered to the airline and as one recruiter once told us – Emirates is expanding fast. More cabin crew are needed to work on these new aircraft.
Yes, the problems at Emirates are well known. The financial results for 2016 were poor, to say the least (profits dropped by over 80%) and this year has been troubled – there was the so-called U.S. Muslim Ban and Laptop Ban, as well as terrorist attacks in Europe that dampened demand. The political spat with Qatar has done little to help matters.
But things have been looking up in recent months. Emirates has restarted services to destinations in the U.S. which it suspended for a short time after demand flagged and flights to Nigeria, hit by a currency devaluation, have also begun once again.
We’ve also seen Emirates increase services to Algiers and Stockholm. More flights have been added to Cairo and new routes to Khartoum and Hanoi were added. Emirates has also upgraded its flights to Moscow and St Petersburg to all A380 services and even an extra service to Brussels has been added.
In a couple of weeks time, the Dubai Air Show gets underway. We’re eagerly awaiting the brand new First Class Suite which will be debuted at the event. There’s even speculation (and some heavy hinting from Emirates executives) that a new order will be made for even more Airbus A380’s. There could even be a deal signed with Boeing for more widebody aircraft.
The new tie-up with low-cost sister airline, flydubai is also said to be doing well. Tim Clark, the president of Emirates said bookings were “surpassing expectations.” Somehow, Emirates has even managed to acquire more landing slots at Heathrow Airport in the UK because its services are so popular.
And it’s not even like current cabin crew aren’t leaving the airline. The rate of cabin crew quitting remains fairly steady – in fact, it’s believed the number of Economy class crew leaving the airline has actually gone up recently (due to the fact that there aren’t any promotions within the company at the moment).
As a result, Emirates is making Business and First Class crew work in the Economy cabin for a month at a time. Insiders are even saying that pursers and supervisors are being invited to work as normal crew in Economy.
All in all, this adds up to a really confusing picture. There’s no evidence that Emirates has grounded any of its aircraft – and they all appear to be operating with a full complement of cabin crew. So how Emirates can continue its operation without hiring new cabin crew remains baffling.
For now, keep your resumes updated and your fingers crossed. We’ve reached out to Emirates but they have so far refused to comment on these rumours.
We’d love to know what you think about this report… Sound off in the comments below. Is there any truth to this rumour or would you rather just wait to hear directly from Emirates? Share your thoughts with us.