The low-cost airline flydubai has extended a period of reduced pay for employees, including pilots and cabin crew, indefinitely according to sources quoted by Reuters. Dozens of pilots have also been placed on unpaid leave for up to a year according to the same sources.
flydubai has been largely grounded since late March when the authorities in the UAE banned regularly scheduled passenger flights. The airline has, however, been allowed to operate a small number of chartered repatriation flights, as well as cargo-only services.
The airline has not indicated when it might be able to restart passenger flights and says it will focus its attention on cargo services for the foreseeable future. In contrast, fellow Dubai-based airline Emirates has now restarted services to 30 destinations and transit passengers are now to transfer at Dubai International Airport.
Both flydubai and Emirates are owned by the government of Dubai but they are run as separate companies. In recent years, the two airlines have explored ways to increase partnership including codeshare flights and schedule alignment but have resisted a full blown merger.
In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for flydubai told Reuters that the airline was having conversations with pilots and cabin about their futures with the airline. “The decisions we have had to take have not been taken lightly and we will extend our full support,” a statement from the airline read.
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.