Emirates Could Fly A380s With Just Four Flight Attendants

Filed Under: Emirates

Emirates has internally revealed some updates regarding how they’ll staff flights, which could — at least in theory — see A380s operated with just four flight attendants.

Emirates resuming limited service

Emirates will be resuming some flights as of April 6, 2020. This follows the airline suspending operations for two weeks.

Initially they’ll operate a very limited number of flights between Dubai and Europe using 777-300ERs — they’ll fly cargo in both directions, while they’ll primarily only sell seats on the flights out of Dubai.

Emirates will be operating limited flights to Europe

As the company describes these flights, they’re “carrying commercial passengers on cargo missions,” so these are primarily cargo flights, but will still be available to passengers.

Emirates has fixed pricing for these one-way flights to Europe — 2,500AED in economy, and 5,000 AED in business class.

What’s equally interesting is how Emirates will be crewing these flights.

How Emirates is staffing Europe flights

There are some things that are interesting about how Emirates will be staffing these flights to Europe, which is different than normal for the airline:

  • The flights to Europe will all be operated as same day turns for the crews, so they’ll have long days; there will be fewer flight attendants than usual, while there will be two cockpit crews (two captains and two first officers)
  • The planes will have a first class cabin, but it will be blocked off for crew, so they have bathrooms that they can use, etc.
  • Emirates will be staffing one of the A380 shower attendants on every 777 flight, who will be responsible for constantly cleaning the bathrooms onboard
  • When crews return to Dubai they’ll be given a COVID-19 test, and they can only fly again after their test comes back negative

Emirates is putting shower attendants on 777s

New minimum staffing guidelines

Emirates is significantly reducing staffing on flights, which makes sense, given that there will be greatly reduced service for the time being.

They’ve established new staffing guidelines for both A380s and 777s. Let me once again emphasize that for now A380s aren’t being operated regularly, so the new A380 staffing guidelines aren’t particularly significant yet, but may be down the road.

How Emirates is staffing A380s

While I’m not sure we’ll actually see this happen, what’s interesting is that with the newly published guidelines, Emirates could operate an Airbus A380 with passengers with a total of just four flight attendants.

The number of flight attendants depends on how full the flight is, broken down by both lower deck and upper deck.

For the A380 lower deck:

  • If there are one to 88 passengers, four flight attendants are needed
  • If there are 89 to 223 passengers, six flight attendants are needed
  • If there are 223 to 347 passengers, eight flight attendants are needed
  • If there are 348 to 427 passengers, 10 flight attendants are needed

For the A380 upper deck:

  • If there are one to 58 passengers, four flight attendants are needed
  • If there are 59 to 76 passengers, six flight attendants are needed

If the upper deck is empty, there won’t be any flight attendants

Again, this is highly theoretical, but this means that if there were only a few dozen passengers booked on the lower deck, and no business or first class passengers, the A380 could be staffed with just four flight attendants.

A more likely scenario is that there would be four on the lower deck and four on the upper deck, which would still only be eight flight attendants.

But even on the higher end, normally Emirates has 23 flight attendants on an A380, while with a full load they’d now only have 16 flight attendants.

It’s worth noting that this reduced staffing comes with specific conditions:

  • With reduced staffing, passengers need to be seated in certain areas, so that they’re near an armed evacuation door (with four flight attendants on the lower deck, the first and second set of doors would have crew members, on both the left and the right)
  • Under some circumstances we could even see pilots having to sit in a jumpseat during takeoff and landing, since flights are being staffed with extra pilots, but fewer flight attendants

Emirates is greatly reducing A380 staffing

How Emirates is staffing 777s

Emirates usually staffs 777-300ERs with up to 14 flight attendants, while now they’re limiting it to 10 flight attendants. The minimum staffing depends on how many passengers there are:

  • With up to 14 passengers, four flight attendants are needed
  • With up to 102 passengers, six flight attendants are needed
  • With up to 234 passengers, eight flight attendants are needed
  • With up to 352 passengers, 10 flight attendants are needed

777s could be staffed with just four flight attendants

Bottom line

Definitely file this more under “interesting as an avgeek” rather than “actually important” (but as I’ve said many times, I think the former stories are generally more interesting than the latter stories nowadays).

Emirates is greatly adjusting how they’re staffing flights in light of the current situation, and they’ve established guidelines that could see A380s with very light passenger loads operate with just four flight attendants.

I’m not confident we’ll ever see that actually happen, but that sure would be fascinating/eery.

  1. I just flew EK J Class (a week before everything went south) from MEL-DXB then DXB-LHR …both flights were utterly unmemorable. The FAs clearly hated their jobs (and I felt for them as I am aware how EK treats their staff) but they food on both flights was simply not business class standards, let alone EK “glamour” standards.

    Ben do you think their onboard offerings will be greatly reduced in J?

  2. A big European carrier is also doing direct turns for New York. First Class as a crew rest (and 4 rows of J class), and first class bedding for every crew member. 17-18h days allowed, with a special EASA permission.

  3. The minimum is 8, not 4.

    4 on the lower deck, 4 on the upper deck. 4 + 4 = 8.

    The flights are turnarounds carrying a heavy crew that will sit upstairs, hence the need for upper deck operating crew regardless of passengers.

  4. my wife and family in pakistan
    isb airport with Emirates on 20 April and need come back when emirate go to pakistan

  5. Saw Emirates A380 today flying DXB-LHR, outside of official schedule, so must have been cargo. Was a bit surprised to see it on the sky.

  6. I am stranded in Australia, due to the cancellation of my Emirates flight on 25th March, Emirates have not offered me alternative air travel as is their obligation and I know Qatar are flying from Brisbane to London Heathrow, so wondering why they have not booked me on there. Repatriation is low priority for Australia and New Zealand because of flights still leaving, but at high costs. Would be good to get home, but no help given. Any one else in the same position.

  7. If they had say 20 economy and 20 business on board an A380 do you think they would bump the economy up to business to just staff the upper deck could be a bonus for some if they do

  8. I am surprised …
    That they don’t place most pax top-deck , a smaller # main-deck forward , all luggage main-deck rearward , and air-freight only in the cargo-holds . This would maximize revenue , and even allow them to service smaller airports . Just have mobility-impaired sit main-deck only . Remove the rearward seats , and cargo-net the luggage .
    *Easy-peasy !

  9. So they want to fly a heavy 4 engines fuel spending A380 with light load, heavy landing fees and everything else that so expensive to run a A380 and then they want to save up on the cheapest asset on this flight ( FA ) ?

    It makes no sense whatsoever.

  10. @Arnie They are not saving money on FAs but rather “saving their FA ammo” per flight as crew will be subject to lengthy COVID testing break after every flight.

  11. @SK

    That IS a good explanation but with over 90% of the fleet on the ground they definitely have excess of staff

  12. 6th April
    I’m in brisbane with my very young granddaughter when are they going to fly from there i want to get home please Emirates start flying from brisbane

  13. I having lived In the country for 55 years and my mum one of the HR legends that kick started this airline back in the 70s, 80s 90s.

    I’ve personally seen and heard from her and other airline associates & friends within, the innards and horrors of this terrible airline.

    They treat their staff like shite. Since from their roots the Arab mentality & heritage is to enslave. It gives them greatest of pleasure and control to do that especially to women and non Islamic peoples.

    You may get exemption from their crass treatment if you’re caucasian coming from a 1st world country or holding key positions in the organisation or country such as Pilots, Atc, Management heads or diplomats etc or anyone with lucrative top notch skills that can affect or slow down their operations if made redundant.

    But once you’re employed by them in lesser ranking, you will see it in the lifestyle, low pay scale and terrible living quarters and in contracts of silence they threaten expatriates with for speaking out on exploitation and in humane practices.

    If you’re dark or black skinned or even if you are fair and come from a developing country these guys will show their disgust for you as you live your life under their umbrellas in the scorching desert sun. And if you’re on their pay roll & benefits you will see hell coming your way.

    Even though Arabs despise women. The girls are mainly sex objects and fetish abuse for the bosses & Arab locals and their paid henchmen.

    They force marry and convert the girls to Islam, after getting them impregnated, while efficiently using blackmail and torture with special contacts they have at police, CID and higher authorities.

    But the key reason they sexually harass and exploit foreign women, here, is to break the continuum in the faulty genetic code that plagues the region bcoz of their tribal practices of marrying their first cousins, sisters aunties, uncles etc which breed offspring having mental retardation and physical handicaps. They mainly want the women with good breeding and light colour to put a stop to their genetic imperfections.

    They eye the blonde and blues and exotics for their private parties and group sexual rendezvous. Many women give in for the extra cash and privileges they get from their Arab masters and are willing to sweep everything under the rug for that little extra pay.

    However the arabs dont like women. It’s in their dna to seek homosexuality. Even though they’re religion condemns it on paper. They practice it fervently behind closed doors. They’re perverse ways attract them to seeking innocence & helplessness of children locally and within expat communities.

    I was one child who was raped, beaten and sodomised many a times by them, behind closed doors on auspicious religious occasions of meeting and greetings. Even in mosques in closetted areas I was sodomised by them.

    My mother has broken down many a times mentally seeing the airlines expatriates staff plights. She was imprisoned by her Arab big bosses after she failed to heed repeated warnings to keep malpractices and in humane injustices under wraps..

    Eventually she was booted out of the country, after 35 years of service, fined 1 million in souped up defamy charges in court, for failing to adhere to the norms of the airline and its practices..

    Needless to say my scars have never healed and my ugly memories have tormented me endlessly with nightmares from the many times I have been taken to jail, beaten and shamed for pointing & speaking out against their disgusting practices and injustices.

  14. I think a great idea to get things moving slowly.
    Can we not test pax temperture at check in or have them supply a note from doctor (72hour limit), then obviously Dubsi has state of the art cameras to detect high temps of transit pax. Then once they disembark check temp again and recomnend isolation for 14 days!
    This would allow stranded pax to travel home whilst trying to keep the spread to the virus to an absolute minimum?

  15. My family is there in UAE and i got stuck in pakistan want to be back as early as possible they are very sacred without me.i am ready to pay whatever fair Emirates ask for.

  16. please i book ticket to Nigeria on 25th April to lagos, to come back to dubai on may 20th please exit possible emirate? i book it at RAK

  17. I want back home Abudhabi to my six kids.. Suffering alone to take care of eachother and tutoring their younger sisters and study themselve for igcse and Alevel… As soon as Ek come to Tanzania.. Im stuck down here.

  18. Emirates should fly to Africa again to re-supply their slave quarters with more cabin service attendants. They’re surely going to die a quick and horrible death with the current working conditions they’re about to face. May as well pretend it is the early 1700s and get those Brits to go searching the African tribes for captured enemies to sell to these Arabs and their pleasure palaces in the sky.

  19. Umm Shamma, what the hell are you doing with 6 kids alone and by themselves while you’re on another continent? Are you a hooker trying to snag some Omanis on vacay in Zanzibar? You clearly qualify for parent of the year if I’ve ever seen one. I feel bad for the kids. Probably stuffing their faces with McDonalds after they’ve slaughtered their nanny for food and buried what’s left of the body since you clearly don’t give a damn about anyone except yourself and I’m sure your children haven’t fallen far from that lightning struck tree. Your husband, if he ever re-appears in your and your childrens’ lives, is probably going to beat you senseless (again) for your own stupidity. Something I would support 100% given the circumstances involved.

  20. Me and my sis is stuck in dubai , I want to go back to my home in lahore pakistan. My parents are really worried and my daughter is waiting for me. Pls inform me when flight will go.

  21. I would also love to know whem Emirates will be flying to Durban South Africa from Pakistan. Its almost impossible to get any proper responses from them.

  22. In the USA the FAA mandates 1 flight attendant for each 50 seats….not passengers, SEATS. I don’t know how they are getting away with this but it seems that their aviation governing body in the UK and EU are lax. Certainly Emirates is less concerned about their crew’s welfare than their bottom line. Not surprising in the middle east.

  23. Yea
    I’m stranded in brisbane with my very young granddaughter who is very upset and just wants to get home to see her mummy when my flight was cancelled please Emirates start flying from brisbane

  24. Hi I’m stranded in brisbane with my very young granddaughter our flight was cancelled on the 25th March please Emirates start to fly from brisbane i am be side myself with worry

  25. I know how hard working in a flight which have just few crew onboard. It will impacted to the service level nor customer satisfaction. But,ok..lets dont talk about service during this time. How about work load ? Work Presssure ? Safety aspect ? Medical situation ? Do they still think about this aspect ? No they dont! They just need cabincrew to operate the flight regardless what situation they might face. Even they trying to calculate how many people being onboard it still doesnt make any sense.

    It shows that Cabincrew doesnt have standard,minimum number of cabin crew to operate the flight,4 cabin crew in a 380 is crazy!

    Operation department and its management can easily whatever they decide as long as the flight still operate

  26. I am in Perth and need to get back home to Germany. Emirates are flying from Dubai but how do I get there? There must be hundreds of people also stranded in Australia. Please Emirates can you make a plan?

  27. @Rosemary Mc Bride

    If you are a German citizen – call the German embassy in Australia! The German equivalent to the State in the US is co-ordinating hundreds of repatriation flights to Germany from all over the place.

    If you are a non-German citizen: call them anyway and ask if they give you a free seat on one of their next flight. They are not free of charge and not very comfy – but they bring you to Germany.

    They might have a seat for you – when the time comes.

    Good luck

  28. Qatar Airways still flying from most Australian cities and to Germany and most aces in this planet.

  29. Hi guys am currently living in the UAE for the last 50 years. I own multiple businesses here in different sectors and lead a very affluent and luxurious life. However my heart pours out to the poor, exploited and wrongly accused in this country . So that is why iam penning this letter to high light their plight and suffering. If I wrote all the horrors I have seen, living here all these years it would compile to a bestseller.

    Yes i do go thru endless exploits and discrimination here everyday, but my money and contacts, saves my skin from becoming a. khashoggi. However my impairment, is nothing compared, to what others go thru with these Arabs, in power, holding key positions and manipulating and tormenting lives, with their new found dirty money from oil in the last 50 years.

    I can tell you for sure that Emirates has lockdowns on all their expat staff except Arabs.
    They threaten with dire conditions and inhuman codes of disciplining using police & goon authority against anyone, speaking or expressed, concerns, anywhere publicly.
    I know this bcoz I have extensive family and friends working in this airline currently and for the last 25 years.

    Families are not allowed to visit staff or even go out for emergency supplies. Hence airline bosses are using this lockdown, to pull out staff mainly from developing countries, for forced duty, regardless whether they contract Corona, bcoz these staff are so desperate to leave their quarters, from the lockdown and discrimination. Most staff are on unpaid leave. Food, money, essentials cannot come to them directly from friends and families. Groceries are scanned and limited depending where they stay.

    Some staff have already absconded on aircrafts landing in destinations that are more humane and understanding to their plight and they have no plans of coming back. The UAE has the Interpol in its pockets too. Hence they will use them to put fake charges on staff, wherever, to get them extracted back for prosecution or liabilities, These Arab Gov police / henchmen have used their tactics successfully in the past, before Corona, to extricate or hit someone wherever they are currently !

    As for the quarantine lockdown the airline has no intentions of bringing back people from other countries regardless of their visa stamping, to its shores, except for their own nationals. They’re shitting they’re pants bcoz the virus can easily wipe out their meager UAE local populace of 500,000 only. So they don’t need anyone else coming in. They just want to get rid of the expat people they already have. Failing which the UAE expenses and quarantine efforts hits them brutally harder than all the generations of innocent people they enslaved and exploited.

    In the past and currently, all their inhumane dishonest practices were done, with allies Saudi & Bahrain against neighboring countries such as Yemen, Qatar, Iran, Oman by targeting them as evil. They UAE goons with their perverse actions hide under the diverse expat nationalities . Confident that these so called enemy states would never attack them bcoz of their peoples taking up work and residency here.

    The UAE government has already threatened developing countries to take back their workforce at their cost of repatriation in fear of the Corona. They don’t want to spend their resources on foreign expats who made this country thru their sweat, blood & toil in the 55 degree Celsius heat and 90% humidity.

    The lockdown is solely intended for the expat community bcoz they’re afraid food, water, medical and essential resources won’t get to their local people if consumed by the majority of expats. Hence they’re starting up their planes to fly out 1st world country citizens willing to pay their ridiculous asking airline price,

    But how do the poor especially who haven’t been paid a meager wage from the time they started work here. Mostly exploited by Arab bosses and affiliated subscribers to their religion who don’t consider it Haram to exploit or kill others not of their faith !

    In fact the UAE has already threatened countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan & Sri Lanka, India to repatriate their nationals at their own cost, by funding repatriation via Emirates, Etihad Fly Dubai, if not keen to do by they’re own airlines. A good money making racket for these Middle Eastern Airlines I say again devised by these desert scums.

    Failing which criminal proceedings will be initiated against them and they will be quarantined in jails outside city limits under inhumane conditions. Also MOUs, Trade agreements and payments will be dishonored if immediate action of repatriation is not taken up by these developing countries.

    Again as you can see, the UAE and it’s Arab brethren defeat the purpose of a safe lockdown. Provoking mass migration by instigation of threats by forced repatriation to developing counties that served and made Arab countries prosper in their desperate times of need.

    The Arabs only host you and play nice when they want something desperately from you. They’re planes now only fly to empty the expats living in their countries. The same, expats they lured with tax free income and fancy lifestyles, to build & flourish their concrete glassyspirals & 2020 Expo hype which inevitably was a disastrous failure even before Corona took over them. As if Allah couldn’t be any more cruel to them Arabs, by giving them the dry barren deserts, dependency on the West for the Best, even though they teach their offsprings to them infidels do jihad against them all those not of their faith ! Where their oil losing value and means nothing to a Tesla electric motor. Where they’re planes collecting dust, eating the sand, they’ve eaten & known, for thousands of years.

  30. @Kalai

    Although 10% of what you say might be true;
    I have no respect for someone who writes “bcoz”.

    Stay good and learn proper plain language

  31. @Arnie

    Please come and stay here. And the other 90% of what you don’t believe will surely happen to you..

    Btw English is not my native language. And speaking proper English does not reflect one’s character, I.Q, talents or achievements .

    English is not the only language spoken on earth. And I speak 10 other world languages. Last I checked on my IELTS test I scored 9/10 .

    I’m not here to impress you or anyone else with my English. But to highlight the plight and exploitation of this region to those willing to see reality other than thru rose petaled glasses.

    And if you’re reading ability is a little more capable than a 5rd grader I’m sure it won’t take much of your brain power to decipher what Iam typing from my 2nd grade education.

    You can see from my multi paragraph writing and ramblings Iam not keen on perfection . And if you’re bit tech savvy you will understand these lines written are automatic from voice dictation via Google translate. Coz I’m too lazy to type and too privileged to resist automation.

    Hence Iam not proof reading for details, punctuation and articulations. If I was writing just 2 liners, like you, to get a point across, then that wouldn’t need all that brain power,/ articulating effort ya !

    You stay broad minded and try to learn other languages. other than stitching your own impeccable English in a straight line.

    And I don’t give a hoot to what you think and respect, because of “bcoz.”
    Ones good written or spoken English, or any other language, for that matter, is not an absolute indication of one’s real character, personality or capabilities.

    But thank you anyways for the advice my Great Grandpa I never met !!

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