Emirates, the state-owned flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, is planning to cut around 30 percent of its total workforce as part of its latest cost-cutting measures to cope with the travel demand slump amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure will affect about 3,000 jobs at the airline, which is a subsidiary of the Emirates Group; a company owned by the government of Dubai's Investment Corporation of Dubai. At the end of March, Emirates had about 105,000 employees globally.
Apart from significantly reducing its global workforce, Emirates is also reportedly accelerating its plans to retire its fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft. According to sources familiar with the matter, the global travel demand slump has forced the company to reduce its scale of operations, likely resulting in it operating a much smaller fleet in the coming years.
When asked about the claims of its planned job cuts, Emirates responded that the company has yet to make any public announcement regarding "redundancies" at the airline. A spokeswoman recently told reporters that the company is currently conducting a comprehensive business review that will focus on its costs and resources as well as its business projections given the current circumstances.
Emirates stated that any decision to reduce its workforce will be communicated to the public. All other claims are apparently not official unless the company says otherwise. In the meantime, the airline has confirmed that job cuts could be possible but the review still needs to be concluded before a decision can be made.
Earlier in the month, the world's largest long-haul airline stated that it has taken the necessary steps to help it cope with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. These measures include taking out additional loans to shore up its finances and ensure its continued liquidity. Emirates confirmed that it is tapping its credit lines and raising its debts for its first quarter to lessen the impact of the pandemic on its liquidity.
The company warned that it may be forced to take tougher measures if it faces unforeseen difficulties in the coming months. Emirates had estimated that a rebound in global travel demand may still be at least 18 months away. In line with its forecasts and to support the country's pandemic control measures, the airline had suspended its regular passenger flights since March.
For its fiscal year ending on March 31, the company reported a rise in profits of more than 21 percent. Emirates claims that the pandemic had affected the tail-end of its fiscal year, heavily hitting its fourth-quarter performance.