A few weeks ago I wrote about the rumors that Emirates Airline would start laying off employees, and was considering grounding much of the A380 fleet permanently. While we don’t know more yet about the future of the A380 fleet, Emirates is informing a significant number of flight attendants and pilots today that they’re being terminated.
Emirates begins mass layoffs
A couple of weeks ago Emirates laid off newly hired flight attendants and pilots, who had either recently completed training, or were still being trained. Today the airline has taken job cuts to the next level, including laying off many employees who had been at the company for a long time.
Based on my sources, late last night emails were sent to many flight attendants and pilots, informing them that they had to attend mandatory meetings today at the Emirates training college.
It seems that the airline has essentially engaged in group layoffs. As people arrived at the training college their names were checked off a list and they were assigned a room. Once the room filled up there was a quick meeting informing everyone that they were being terminated:
- There was no mention of the possibility of being rehired in the future
- The managers responsible for the layoffs said they had no detailed insights into the reason, and that they were just the messengers
- It’s my understanding that layoffs were largely targeted at those who had previously received warnings, those with high sickness, and those who failed training courses in the past
Upon conclusion of these meetings, employees received letters outlining what the process of being terminated will look like:
- There is a 30 day notice period for flight attendants, and 90 day notice period for pilots
- There is no right of appeal against the redundancy decision
- Since the company issues UAE work visas, there’s a 29 day “grace period” beyond the 90 day notice period, and by that time people have to leave the country
- For situations where employees can’t leave the country due to border closures, those visas can be extended
- Those who must remain in the country will continue to receive housing, and will receive 25% of their base salary
- Upon separation with the company, employees will receive any outstanding renumeration, the value of unused annual leave, and an end of service benefit
Emirates is moving forward with more pilot & cabin crew layoffs
Other Emirates employees get 50% pay cuts
The news this week for Emirates employees goes beyond those being terminated. Many employees at the company who still have jobs are getting a 50% pay cut of their basic salary between July 1 and September 30, 2020.
For the past couple of months the company has reduced pay for many frontline employees by 25%, but now that amount is increasing.
For flight attendants the real pay cut is more than 50%:
- The basic salary is being cut by 50%, but then flight attendants also ordinarily get paid for the hours that they fly
- With most flight attendants flying very little (if at all), they’re also missing out on their flight pay
- That means for many flight attendants the pay cut is more along the lines of 60%+
Emirates is also reducing pay for many employees by 50%
My thoughts are with all of those at Emirates today who are losing their jobs. It’s especially tough when you get laid off after moving somewhere for a job, without an option to stay. Many people have built lives in Dubai, are now forced to leave them behind.
Ultimately we don’t know how many people Emirates has laid off, and we may not know for a while. Furthermore, odds are that we’ll see more layoffs in the coming weeks, since it would appear that they’re doing layoffs in stages.
First they laid off those still in training, then they laid off those who had some performance issues, and who knows what group is next…