Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
Cabin crew working for Dubai-based airline Emirates have been told that they won’t be paid for completing mandatory training courses and that the government-owned carrier will now expect them to work for free. Training courses that will now go unpaid include at least a two-day mandatory safety refresher course that all cabin crew must complete once per year.
In response to the slump in travel demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates has already fired thousands of cabin crew and pilots and asked many more to take months of voluntary unpaid leave. A significant number of the foreign expat crew who took leaves of absence are unlikely to return to Dubai as working conditions deteriorate.
“Following a review of costs across all areas, we have taken the difficult decision to cease allowances for training days,” wrote Emirates’ head of in-flight service Thomas Ney in an internal memo. “As a trainee, this means you will no longer receive credit for days where you are being trained,” the memo continued.
In the past, Ney has spearheaded other controversial cost-cutting ideas including reducing the number of cabin crew working on certain flights, plans to reduce medical coverage benefits, and cutting layover periods on ultra-long-haul flights.
Cabin crew at the airline also faced massive pay cuts earlier this year as part of Emirates’ initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with losing out on flying allowances after nearly all flights were grounded in late March, the airline first slashed basic wages by a quarter before trimming wages them by a further 25 per cent.
Full basic pay was only restored in October, although the airline’s chairman and chief executive Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum warned staffers that costs would need to be kept to a minimum.
Along with annual recurrent training, cabin crew returning from an extended leave of absence must complete a four-day training course and some in-flight service training lasts for as long as a week – all of which will go unpaid.
Last month, Emirates posted its first half-year loss for over 30-years, saying the airline had lost $3.4 billion between April and September 2020. Emirates carried just 1.5 million passengers during that same period, during which the airline made 24,300 employees redundant.
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.