Emirates Airline says to cut 'a few' jobs over virus

Dubai (AFP) –


Emirates Airline said Sunday it will cut "a few" jobs in the face of the downturn over the coronavirus crisis, but did not specify the extent of the layoffs.

"We reviewed all possible scenarios in order to sustain our business operations, but we have come to the conclusion that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us," the airline said in a statement.

The Dubai carrier, the largest in the Middle East, employs a workforce that is around 100,000-strong with a fleet of 270 wide-bodied aircraft.

Emirates announced in March temporary cuts of between 25 percent and 50 percent in basic salaries for most employees after halting its operations.

"We continuously are reassessing the situation and will have to adapt to this transitional period," the airline said.

"We do not view this lightly, and the company is doing everything possible to protect jobs wherever we can."

Emirates said on May 10 that it would take at least 18 months for travel demand to return to "a semblance of normality", even after reporting bumper pre-pandemic profits.

The carrier had suspended flights on March 22 before resuming some services two weeks later.

Last week, it began partial regular service to a number of mostly Western airports.

State-owned Kuwait Airways recently said it was laying off 1,500 expatriate employees, who make up a quarter of foreign staff.