It looks like the World’s Best Airline is looking to seriously cut costs as cabin crew serving with Emirates are to be moved into cheaper accomodation.
As reported in Arabian Business and on this website last week, Emirates were planning to not renew leases on staff accomodation in expensive parts of its home city Dubai. It’s now understood that the timeframe for this move has been brought forward to help stem losses at the carrier.
Flight attendants living on the iconic – and very expensive – Sheikh Zayed Road, in downtown Dubai have been told to move out within the month. Some staff are yet to learn where they will be moved to.
Over 22,000 Flight Attendants Get Free Accomodation
Emirates has a vast property portfolio and is reassessing what it can (and can’t) afford to keep. The airline provides accomodation for over 22,000 cabin crew.
The majority of cabin crew apartments accomodate 2-3 flight attendants. Residents get separate bedrooms but share a living space and kitchen with the airline paying for rent and utility bills. Most apartment blocks have gyms or other fitness facilities onsite.
Over 4,000 pilots flying for Emirates are housed in their own purpose built villas.
Emirates Contending with Rising Cost of Living
Dubai was recently found to be the seventh most expensive city in the world in an assessment of global costs of living. With rent taking up a significant portion of Dubai residents wages the deal that Emirates is offering its crew is still a good one.
In a related development, Emirates will no longer allow cabin crew to move out of company accommodation. Previously, flight attendants could take advantage of a generous housing allowance paid by the airline.
The quality of housing stock that Emirates offers can vary considerably across the estate. Although the Sheikh Zayed Road apartments might be in a desirable part of town they are said to be old, cramped and offer limited facilities.
Emirates is also seeking to make apartment swaps easier and faster. A new system has been developed, allowing flight attendants to move between apartments – Which was until recently, said to be impossible.
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.