Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
Hundreds of Emirates cabin crew and pilots will be fired this week as the Dubai-based airline significantly downsizes its operation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline started to send out emails late on Monday night ordering selected employees to a ‘business update’ meeting the following day. A second batch of emails was sent on Tuesday evening and more are expected to be sent throughout the next week.
During these short 10-minute meetings, staffers were told they were being laid-off because their position had been “made redundant”. Sources claim those selected to attend these meetings had received disciplinary warnings in the past or had been on longterm sick leave. Some employees were still appealing their disciplinary cases when they were fired.
Exact numbers are hard to ascertain. Emirates has only admitted to firing “a few of the wonderful people that worked for us” but some sources say pilots and cabin crew in the thousands could be fired in the coming weeks. Several media outlets have reported at least 600 pilots being made redundant although these numbers haven’t been confirmed by the airline.
Other sources claimed Emirates was drawing up plans to axe a third of its workforce such was the decimating effect that the Corona crisis has laid upon the airline and the entire aviation industry. If this number were to be correct, around 7,500 cabin crew could be made redundant.
What we do know is that there are so many redundancies being made that there has been a ‘conveyer belt’ like approach to how the process is being handled. Letters detailing the decision don’t provide individual reasons for why someone has been chosen and there is no right to appeal.
“As you are aware, COVID-19 has had a severe impact on the global economy across al sectors including our industry,” the letters signed by Emirates’ executive vice president for human resources Abdulaziz al Ali reads.
“Following a review of resource requirement across all areas and in line with our business operations, I regret to inform you that your position is being made redundant,” the letter continues.
The redundancy date for many employees will be June 15 but employees will be paid their basic wage through to the middle of September. During this time, employees will be allowed to remain in company-provided accommodation.
For the cabin crew and pilots who do remain, their basic salary will be slashed by 50 per cent until the end of September. Emirates previously indicated that it didn’t expect to see a “semblance of normality” return to the industry for at least 18-months. Sir Tim Clark, the airline’s president now says it could be at least three years before the aviation industry starts to recover.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.