Emirates told its Dubai-based employees on Tuesday that they will receive a 5% pay rise to address the rising cost of living and inflation, which has put a squeeze on wages worldwide.
Inflation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) peaked at 6.77% back in mid-2022 but has since fallen to just over 3%. Emirates said pay rises for staff in other countries would broadly match local inflation rates.
“These increases are a direct response to the rise in cost of living and inflation, which we recognise has put pressure on you and your families,” an internal memo told staffers.
The pay rise comes on top of a bumper profit-sharing bonus which was announced last month shortly after the government-controlled airline announced a record $2.9 billion profit for 2022-23.
Directly employed staff received 24 weeks’ worth of pay – the first bonus that Emirates staff have received since 2018.
Emirates Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said last month that the airline had made a “full recovery” after travel demand bounced back as pandemic-era restrictions were lifted.
The decision to raise wages after years of cutbacks is an indication that Emirates is confident strong travel demand will continue despite inflationary pressures around the world.
In 2019, Emirates froze wages and even paused incremental seniority-based pay rises after reporting a disappointing set of financial results for 2018-19. The 2023 pay award has, therefore, been broadly welcomed by Emirates employees who haven’t seen a wage increase in some time.
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.