Emirates Airlines has asked some of its staff members to take unpaid leave for up to one month. The company took to this strategy at a time when the coronavirus is spreading rapidly throughout the world.
The spread of this virus has resulted in the cancellation of flights globally. Thus, it is taking a toll on the company’s financial and business model. Emirates Airline has already canceled flights to Bahrain, Iran, and most of China due to the spread of the virus.
Countries throughout the world have set strict restrictions on the entry of foreigners. Chief Operating Officer Adel al-Redha said that the airline has more resources than it needs after canceling flights and cutting frequencies to various destinations. His March 3 statement reads:
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“Considering the availability of additional resources and the fact that many employees want to utilize their leave, we have provided our employees with the option to avail leave or apply for voluntary unpaid leave for up to one month at a time.”
Emirates Group is a state-owned holding company that has the airline among its growing list of assets. The Group, in an internal company email, requested staff to consider taking paid and unpaid leaves while it tries to manage a ‘measurable slowdown’ in its business.
At the end of March 2019, the Group had over 100,000 employees, including 4,000 pilots and 21,000 cabin crew members.
The spread of the coronavirus in the Gulf has resulted in the cancellation of major concerts and events in the United Arab Emirates. UAE is an air transit center that also consists of tourism and business hub Dubai.
IATA, the airline industry’s largest global body, requested the Middle Eastern government on March 2 to offer support to airlines as they strive to manage the effects of the outbreak.