The cost of living might be rising in Dubai but cabin crew salaries at Emirates (along with every other Dubai-based member of staff at the airline) won’t be going up with it. The chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, has today told staff that the airline and its wider portfolio of companies are expecting to make a profit of AED 2.8 billion ($762 million USD) in 2019 but it can only do that if it makes an effort to control rising costs.
Unfortunately, that means salaries, including allowances, won’t be rising at all this year. Even worse, Emirates has also decided to put incremental yearly pay rises on ice as well. Along with staffers at Emirates Airline, the decision will also impact thousands of other employees at associated companies like the ground servicing business DNATA and Emirates Flight Catering to name just two.
Staff had already been told they would not be getting a profit-sharing bonus this year.
Last week, the Emirates Group revealed it’s annual profit had fallen 44% to $631 million and profits at the airline had tumbled some 69% to $237 million in 2018. Sheikh Al Maktoum described the performance as “not as strong as we would have liked” after a “tough” year from stiff competition, rising fuel costs and currency fluctuations, particularly the strong U.S. dollar.
“It is clear that we face some tough and immediate challenges,” Al Maktoum says in a new memo sent to the airline’s employees.
“Our goal has always been to build a profitable, sustainable and responsible business, and these principles continue to guide our decisions and investments going forward,” he continues.
Al Maktoum tells staff that the Emirates Group must now focus on growing the business and “controlling costs” if it is to realise its profit target for the year ahead. Along with suspending all pay rises, Al Maktoum also says that vacant positions will now only be filled “where it is absolutely critical”.
It’s not believed that Emirates plans to make any redundancies at this time.
It’s not known whether this will impact cabin crew recruitment – at present, Emirates continues to advertise and hold recruitment events in cities around the world. Insiders claim this may, in part, be down to a particularly high turnover of cabin crew at the moment.
In its annual report, Emirates claimed downward pressure on yields had been caused partly by competitors in the region (ie. Qatar Airways) who had a “one-point business plan to always undercut Emirates’ fares at all costs.”