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Dubai’s Emirates offers unpaid leave to pilots for 12 months

Dubai’s Emirates offers unpaid leave to pilots for 12 months

The airline is implementing several initiatives such as unpaid leave and flexible work-time models across its group

Dubai-based carrier Emirates has offered some of its pilots unpaid leave for up to 12 months, with the possibility of an early recall.

The recall, however, will be contingent on rebound in air travel demand and the airline’s operational requirements.

“We can confirm that we’ve offered some of our pilots unpaid leave for 12 months, with the possibility of an early recall back to duty depending on how quickly demand rebounds and our operational requirements. During unpaid leave, the company will continue to provide accommodation, medical cover and other allowances,” an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf Business. 

“We continue to do all we can to protect our talent pool for post-pandemic business recovery, but we also need to consider the impact of the current situation on our operations and cost base. Across the group, we are implementing various offers including unpaid leave and more flexible working time models,” the spokesperson added.

The airline’s COO Adel al Redha, lended hope in August, when he asserted that Emirates aims to serve 100 per cent of its network destinations, tantamount to 143 cities, by summer 2021.

Read more: Dubai’s Emirates to serve 100% of network destinations by summer 2021 – COO

“With Emirates offering unpaid leave, primarily for its A380 pilots it seems, this signals that the airline is not ready to reactivate its wider A380 fleet due to demand still being battered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” noted Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.

“Furthermore, many pilots command premium salaries and so, by allowing unpaid leave, until such time demand rebounds, Emirates saves money on its payroll too.”

With recent resumption to several global destinations to fulfill growing travel demand, the carrier’s passenger network has grown to over 95 destinations.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates to resume flights to 5 more cities

Emirates has also allowed its customers to claim medical expenses on flights undertaken until December 31, 2020, and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey.

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