Emirates Boeing 777 at London Heathrow Airport. Photo: John Taggart.

MIAMI – Continuing to restructure its staff due to the pandemic, Emirates Airlines (EK) has offered some Pilots unpaid leaves for 12 months. According to its latest statement, EK will recall back the staff to duty depending on the demand rebound and operation requirements.

The airline also stated that it is implementing various flexible working time models. These seek to protect the carrier’s talent pool, operations, and cost base. Despite the temporary workforce reductions, Pilots will continue receiving accommodation, medical cover, and other allowance, according to an EK spokesperson.

By mid-year, EK President Tim Clark had said that most of EK’s workforce was in an expatriate situation. In fact, once the staff leaves the United Arab Emirates and Dubai, it becomes far more difficult to get them back quickly, he stated.

In July, EK President, Tim Clark said that the airline was burning up to US$1m cash an hour. Photo: Emirates Airlines.

Workforce Cuts over the Year


During the pandemic, the carrier has been already forced to reduce salaries, jobs and aircraft fleet and ask staff to take unpaid leaves.

In the Summer season, EK laid off about 192 Pilots; then, it came to light that the airline was planning to cut about 9,000 positions. EK warned its UK staff of 600 job cuts. Contrary to this scenario, in October, the carrier expected to restore full salaries alongside some diminished frequencies.

Emirates Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ECS. Photo: Anthony Faraone.

Resumption of Network


Back in August, EK COO, Adel al Redha said that the carrier was putting all its efforts to resume 100% of its network by Summer 2021. So far, with some lifted and relaxed travel restrictions, EK has restarted at least 95 destinations from the 143 it expected to resume.

To boost its demand rebound strategy, the Dubai-based carrier continues offering a COVID-19 coverage for customers. However, it declined to comment on how many Pilots would take unpaid leaves and how this would affect its flight resumption plans.


Featured photo: Emirates Boeing 777. Photo: John Taggart.