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Dubai’s Emirates says no announcement made on ‘mass redundancies’

Dubai’s Emirates says no announcement made on ‘mass redundancies’

Media reports had claimed that the airline planned to cut about 30,000 jobs or 30 per cent of its workforce

Dubai airline Emirates has said it has “not made any announcement” regarding mass layoffs, following media reports that it planned to cut about 30,000 jobs.

“No announcement has been made regarding mass redundancies at the airline. Any such decision will be communicated in an appropriate fashion,” an airline spokesperson said.

“Like any responsible business would do, our executive team has directed all departments to conduct a thorough review of costs and resourcing against business projections, even as we prepare for gradual service resumption. As our chairman has said, conserving cash, safeguarding our business, and preserving as much of as our skilled workforce as possible, remain our top priorities through this period.”

The airline was mulling plans to reduce its workforce by about 30 per cent from more than 105,000 at the end of March, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Emirates is also considering accelerating the retirement of its fleet of Airbus A380s, the report cited unnamed sources as saying.

Airlines across the globe are cutting jobs after being hit with an unprecedented near-total shutdown of travel, and the permanent destruction of these many jobs would be the most yet. IAG SA’s British Airways said last month that it would cleave some 12,000 from its payroll, while more than 100,000 workers at the four largest U.S. carriers have taken voluntary leave, reduced hours or early retirement.

Over the long term, more drastic moves may be necessary. Governments are just now contemplating opening borders that have been shut for months, and without a vaccine there’s no assurance infections won’t surge or that travelers will get back on planes.

With about 70 per cent of global capacity idled, the airline industry stands to lose $314bn in ticket sales this year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Government aid

Dubai’s government said in March it would financially support the airline, which has taken a slew of measures to shore up cash since the virus outbreak. Those include temporally slashing salaries, grounding most of its passenger flights and deferring the delivery of the last batch of the A380 superjumbos.

Still, profit for March was more than Dhs1.5bn and the group lost over Dhs3.4bn in revenue that month, it said in its annual report published last week.

Emirates already decided last year to pare back its A380 order, kicking off a sweeping fleet review at the carrier. Airbus announced at the time that A380 production would end in 2021.

The state-owned airline’s fleet comprises 115 Airbus A380s and 155 Boeing 777.

With inputs from Bloomberg

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