From 19th January 2017, cabin crew at British Airways are set to strike for the second time over allegations it pays it new crew ‘poverty pay’. Over at Emirates, we have learnt more about the rigorous grooming standards expected of its cabin crew with news that some of its flight attendants take over an hour to get ready before a flight.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Etihad is attempting to raise significant sums of money in a 12-year loan to fund new aircraft purchases but the airline remains tightlipped. Finally, the severe winter weather that has gripped Eastern and Southern Europe caused chaos in Istanbul with thousands of passengers stranded at Ataturk airport for days.
More Strike Dates Announced by Mixed Fleet Crew at British Airways
12th January 2017 – Courtesy Business Traveller
‘Mixed Fleet’ British Airways cabin crew belonging to the Unite Union are set to walk out for 72 hours from 19th to 21st January 2017. All cabin crew who joined British Airways after 2010 were placed on a new ‘Mixed Fleet’ contract that the union says amounts to ‘poverty pay’.
Oliver Richardson, the Unite union national officer said: “British Airways should be under no illusion about our members’ determination to secure a settlement that addresses their concerns over poverty pay,”
However, in referring to a recent 48-hour walkout by staff, a British Airways spokesperson claimed that 70% of Mixed Fleet crew turned up for work: “We operated nearly 1,600 flights over the two days, as planned and transported all 210,000 customers to their destinations. So it is bizarre, as well as regrettable, that Mixed Fleet Unite branch has announced further strike dates for January 19-21.
Female Flight Attendants at Emirates Take 1 Hour to Apply Makeup Before a Flight
11th January 2017 – Courtesy Daily Express
In the fifth week of Emirates cabin crew training, the new recruits spend a day learning about the airlines grooming standards. Makeup artist Pamela Mizzi, who leads the training, recommends a seven-step makeup routine for female recruits. They also get to choose one of the approved shades of red lipstick that match their skin tone.
The newspaper reports that the famous Emirates hat has to be worn two finger widths from the eyebrows with hair worn in a pre-approved style.
Maria Pederson, a current flight attendant for Emirates told the Huffington Post that she usually allows herself an hour and 15 minutes to get ready for a flight.
Responding to reports that weight of cabin crew is strictly enforced an Emirates spokesperson was reported as saying: “Our 23,000-strong cabin crew are made up of over 135 nationalities and speak over 60 languages. They are the face of our airline and needless to say we are very proud of them. Our trainers aim to provide our cabin crew with knowledge of grooming, health and nutrition, so that they can represent the company in the best way possible, as well as stay fit and healthy for their demanding jobs.”
Thousands of Air Passengers Stranded in Istanbul As Heavy Snow Cripples Ataturk airport
12th January 2017 – Courtesy London Evening Standard
Thousands of passengers were stranded at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, the home of Turkish Airlines, as heavy snow caused travel misery in Southern Europe. Chaotic scenes were recorded on video by passengers at the airport after 16 inches of snow fell in some parts of Istanbul. The disruption lasted for several days at an airport that normally records 1,500 departing and arriving flights every day.
Etihad Seeks $2.6 Billion Loan for 12 New Aircraft
11th January 2017 – Courtesy Gulf News
Unnamed sources have suggested that Etihad Airways is seeking $2.6 billion in loans to be paid back over the course of 12 years to finance new aircraft deliveries. The bulk of the money will go towards 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with the remaining cash helping to purchase 2 new A380 super jumbos. Etihad have refused to comment on the rumours
In separate news, Etihad now offers WiFi service on 100% of its long-haul routes according to air rating company, Routehappy. This compares to 90% of the Emirates long-haul network that is WiFi enabled.
Photo Credit: British Airways
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.