Emirates have just announced a TOTAL suspension of all passenger flights. Cargo flights appear to be operational still but with flailing passenger traffic due to multiple international border closures this was sadly to be expected.
Suspensions will in full force by 25th March 2020.
Emirates have a total of 259 passenger aircraft, comprising:
- 115 Airbus A380
- 10 Boeing 777-200LR
- 134 Boeing 777-300ER
Like many airlines around the world, these are just parked up on the tarmac, with many airports using various runways and taxiways as temporary parking spots.
Staff pay reduction
In addition to flight suspensions, staff will see a reduction of basic pay for 3 months, but Emirates announced they will endeavour to not cut jobs.
The CEO of Emirates Group, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum commented
“The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint. Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past 6 weeks.
“As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders, and travel confidence returns. By Wednesday 25 March, although we will still operate cargo flights which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended all its passenger operations. We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services.
“Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality.”
Then commenting on the reduction of pay to staff, he said:
“Rather than ask employees to leave the business, we chose to implement a temporary basic salary cut as we want to protect our workforce and keep our talented and skilled people, as much as possible. We want to avoid cutting jobs. When demand picks up again, we also want to be able to quickly ramp up and resume services for our customers.
“The Emirates Group has strong liquidity, with a healthy cash position but it is prudent that it take steps to reduce costs at this time. Emirates remains committed to serving its markets and looks forward to resuming a normal flight schedule as soon as that is permitted by the relevant authorities.”
Sheikh Ahmed said: “These are unprecedented times for the airline and travel industry, but we will get through it. Our business is taking a hit, but what matters in the long run is that we do the right thing for our customers, our employees, and the communities we serve. With the support and unity that we have seen from our employees, partners, customers, and other stakeholders, I’m confident that Emirates can tackle this challenge and come out stronger.”
What's next in this seemingly never-ending saga…