Emirates Lays Off 600 Pilots, 6500 Cabin Crew in Second Wave of Job Cuts

in the second phase of job cuts, Emirates has laid off 600 pilots, who mainly fly Airbus A380s, as well as 6500 cabin crew. The airline has also extended 50% pay cuts until September to preserve cash as the majority of the airline’s A380 and Boeing 777 fleet remains grounded.

“Given the significant impact that the pandemic has had on our business, we simply cannot sustain excess resources and have to right-size our workforce in line with our reduced operations,” said an Emirates spokesperson. After reviewing all scenarios and options, we deeply regret that we have to let some of our people go.”

The move comes as no surprise as the airline had said after the first wave of lay-offs that they were continuously reassessing the situation and would have to adapt to this transitional period. They said that it was the first phase of the layoff strategy, and more cuts might follow in the near future if revaluations revealed it was necessary to protect the airline financially.

The state-owned flag carrier launched the first wave of redundancies two weeks ago laying off 180 pilots undergoing their A380 training and 400 trainee cabin crew, all within their probation period.

“We just can’t keep our employees doing nothing for so long so we’re going to have to let some of them go, unfortunately,” said Tim Clark, the chief executive of the airline, in an interview last week with a Gulf-based media outlet. However, he believes that the aviation industry will return to normality in 2021 and expects that Emirates will be able to fly its entire fleet by 2022.

Meanwhile, the airline has resumed flight operations to 30 destinations including Bahrain, London Heathrow, Manchester, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Zurich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, New York JFK, Chicago, Toronto, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei, Hong Kong, Perth and Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Manila.

Travelers will be able to fly between destinations in the Asia Pacific, Europe or the Americas, with a connection in Dubai.

The airline had to ground its 115 A380s and operates only a handful of Boeing 777s during this period due to the slump in the demand in air travel.