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Emirates Airlines demobilizes hundreds of pilots and thousands of crew members


Five sources with Emirates Airlines, one of the largest airlines operating long-haul flights in the world, said that it had laid off hundreds of pilots and thousands of hospitality crew members on Tuesday in order to deal with the liquidity crisis caused by the Corona virus pandemic, and that it plans further job cuts.
And aviation is one of the industries most affected by the outbreak, which undermined the demand for travel, prompting major airlines to lay off workers and seek government financial rescue.
The sources, who requested anonymity, said that more pilots working on the Airbus A-380 and Boeing 777 aircraft are expected to be dispensed this week.
Three sources said that the workforce of 4,300 pilots and nearly 22,000 hospitality crew members could shrink by nearly a third from pre-Corona levels.
Without revealing any further details, a company spokeswoman told Reuters that a number of workers had been laid off.
“In light of the heavy impact of the pandemic on our operations, we cannot simply maintain redundant resources and we must adjust the size of the workforce to fit the reduced operations,” she said.
On May 10, Emirates Airlines said that the Dubai government’s pledge to provide it with new liquidity would allow it to retain its skilled workforce.
Since then, it has dismissed two workers whom sources told Reuters were trained pilots and hospitality crew members.
Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airlines, who is retiring from his position this month, said the company could take four years to resume flights across its entire network of 157 international destinations that were serving before the pandemic.
The airline has a fleet of 270 A-380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.
The company has operated a limited number of flights, mostly out of the UAE, since passenger flights stopped in March, but it is scheduled to resume a number of transit flights after the UAE lifted the suspension of this service last week.
Emirates airline also extended employee pay cuts until September and in some cases deepened the cut to 50 percent, according to an e-mail message which went viral on Sunday. The letter stated that the decision was taken after studying all possible options in the context of the company’s efforts to maintain cash liquidity.

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