Emirates lays off 6,500 flight attendants in second wave of retrenchment

Emirates has laid-off a total of 6,500 flight attendants in a second wave of job cuts, according to a report from AirlineGeeks. The retrenchment came as the airline's response to the covid-19 pandemic which has caused the airline to suspend its commercial operations temporarily.

Earlier reports said that a total of 700 flight attendants and 600 pilots were laid-off, however, inside sources said that the number is actually at around 7,000 flight attendants who lost their jobs.

Emirates also extended 50% pay cuts on the remaining employees until September to preserve cash as the majority of the airline’s A380 and Boeing 777 fleet remains grounded.

A spokesperson from Emirates said, "given the significant impact that the pandemic has had on our business, we simply cannot sustain excess resources and have to right-size our workforce in line with our reduced operations.

“After reviewing all scenarios and options, we deeply regret that we have to let some of our people go.”

According to AirlineGeek, the move comes as no surprise as the airline reiterated in their statement after the first wave stating that they were continuously reassessing the situation and would have to adapt to this transitional period, indicating that it was the first phase of the layoff strategy, and more cuts might follow in the near future if revaluations revealed it was necessary to protect the airline financially.

A big shock to the aviation world

The news of Emirates retrenching employees came as a huge shock in the airline industry given the airline's present profile as one of the biggest airlines in the world. This has brought fears of how serious this present coronavirus crisis is and how it is slowly decimating the global aviation industry due to countries closing their borders causing air travel demand to plummet. 

If an airline as strong and big as Emirates was greatly affected, what more of smaller airlines.

Emirates continues to hire cabin crew year-round from different countries world wide. They currently have more or less 20,000 cabin crew on its roster.

Job cuts all over the aviation industry

Big airlines with a wide network are not immune to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Other airlines like Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, British Airways, and even AirAsia have downsized as an effect of the drop in air travel demand. 

It is forecasted that it may take 2 to 3 years before demand may reach pre-covid levels.

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