Emirates asks crew members to take more unpaid leave

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Dubai-based airline Emirates has offered voluntary unpaid leave to its cabin crew as carriers around the world struggle to cope with the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the air travel industry through different cost-cutting measures.

“We can confirm that we had offered cabin crew the opportunity to apply for voluntary unpaid leave. We will not be providing figures on employee take-up,” an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement.

Quoting an internal memo, Reuters reported earlier that the carrier’s crew was told that they can take unpaid leave between one and three months, starting from September 1 to November 30.

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Emirates also been reducing its workforce in line with decline in demand for air travel over the next few years due to the pandemic. It reportedly let go some of its crew last week.

Due to low demand, airlines have kept some of their aircraft grounded despite some recovery in air traffic over the past couple of months. The airlines are slowly and cautiously increasing their route networks. Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer of Emirates, said last week that the airline will be serving 100 per cent of its network destinations by summer 2021. It is currently serving more than 70 destinations.

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The UAE’s second full-service carrier Etihad Airways also said in a memo to its employees that it has surplus workforce, and its crew can take between 10 days to six months of unpaid leave from September 16 onwards, Reuters reported. However, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s response was awaited on the report till the filing of this report. Etihad is currently serving more than 60 cities.

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