Qatar Airways Begins Laying Off Flight Attendants

Filed Under: Qatar

At this point layoffs seem inevitable at most major airlines, and Qatar Airways has just become the latest airline to announce this.

Qatar Airways plans cabin crew layoffs

Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, has sent a memo to cabin crew advising them of imminent layoffs:

  • He notes that the global outlook for the industry looks grim, and the airline is having a new reality that includes closed borders, greatly limiting Qatar Airways’ ability to operate
  • Qatar Airways can’t sustain current staffing numbers, and the company needs to make a “substantial” number of roles redundant, though the exact details will still be communicated
  • For those employees who aren’t able to travel home due to border closures, the company will provide housing and a special living allowance until repatriation is possible

All of this comes after an announcement a couple of weeks ago of Qatar Airways deferring 50% of most Doha-based employee salaries for the foreseeable future.

Qatar Airways is planning on laying off cabin crew

Al Baker’s letter to Qatar Airways cabin crew

Here’s the entire letter to employees (which is either poorly translated or poorly written, between “aircrafts,” one mention of “Qatar Airlines,” etc.):

Despite all the efforts and hopes for a quick rebound, we are facing adversity of unprecedented scale. The global outlook for our industry looks grim and many airlines are closing on significantly reducing operations. Unfortunately, Qatar Airways is not immune to this challenge. Let me assure you that no effort was spared to keep all our aircrafts in the skies — you were a vital part of the continuous operations for which our passengers from all over the world applaud you. Now, we have to face a new reality, where many borders are closed, rendering many of our destinations closed and aircrafts grounded as a result, with no foreseeable outlook for immediate, positive change.

The truth is, we simply cannot sustain the current staff numbers and will need to make a substantial number of jobs redundant — inclusive of Cabin Crew. Your management will be communicating details of the planned reductions in the upcoming weeks. As the leader of Qatar Airways, it is a very difficult message to pass to you, because your hard work is what makes this Company great and continuously recognized worldwide for the best customer service. I understand that this situation will impact your careers and personal lives. This is why I requested our HD Department to work on a special recruitment program that will allow for your swift return to Qatar Airlines in the future, should the opportunity arise.

Finally, I wanted to seek your cooperation with your management and HR during this difficult transition. Everyone impacted by any redundancy will be paid all contractual dues and outstanding overtime payments, as applicable. For those who cannot return to their home countries straight away, the Company will provide housing and a special living allowance until repatriation is possible.

Yet again, I wanted to thank you for your loyalty, contributions and resilience. Qatar Airways will do everything to bring the operations back up and offer you the ability to rejoin, If possible.

Crew will be offered temporary accommodation if they can’t go home

Bottom line

In many ways domestic travel is expected to recover before international travel, given the significant immigration restrictions in place. Given that Qatar Airways exclusively operates international flights, they’re in an especially tough situation. The airline plans to resume service to 80 destinations by the end of June 2020, but even that will only represent a fraction of the previous network.

Unless the government was going to bankroll even bigger losses than the airline had going into this, layoffs seemed inevitable. That’s sad for those staff who will be losing their jobs. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough just how many people are being laid off.

Comments
  1. Stop saying that you are sad… You aren’t… At least maybe not for them… You’re sad because your luxury travel life is becoming a thing of the past…

  2. Am visitor in Denton TX usa,I need health certificate to go back ,where I get it

  3. So you keep your “aircrafts” flying empty during the pandemy, saying that “we will fly you home”… after a month the clown realizes that they are losing too much money so now they need to fire their employees who were risking themselves working for the Qatar Airlines…………..

    And about the letter, is this a 5 star company??

  4. Akbar you are such a liar and tyrant because you have been given a upper hand by your shaikhs. I have known you from the past and your arrogant attitude is not reflected in your letter to your poor scared staff. We know you well on how a coward tyrant you are. Failure soon to your airline because of your foolishness and creating fear to your staff

  5. Will layoff 450 CSD from a total 1000, 650 CS from 1100, 2000 cabin crew bussiness class from a total of 4420, 2800 cabin crew economy class from a total of 6475. 550 new cabin crews who expected to start a new life in Doha are already send back home.

  6. Someone definitely did not inform you well about this:

    “All of this comes after an announcement a couple of weeks ago of Qatar Airways deferring 50% of most Doha-based employee salaries for the foreseeable future.“

    First is not most Doha-based, second is not the 50% of their salary. This was a measure applicable to certain employees with a higher salary, and they had a base salary that was not subject to this measure so they assure everyone has a safe budget (which is way higher than the minimum wage in Qatar).
    Moreover this deduction will be recover as the situation permits, in the future.
    I know every airline is going through though times and there are decisions they have to take and is good that people like you share information so the world knows as well that this airline did everything they could to keep all the employees for longer, but also point true, full information, so the airline is not presented in a worse condition than what actually is.

    All the best.

  7. My figures from QR cabin crew performance office are as below, however I dont know if this is finalised yet so it may be adjusted.

    Mohammeds figures would appear to have been correct although now outdated as the amount of terminations for CSD and Economy Crew has been revised down by 100 and 600 respectively.

    350 Cabin Service Director

    650 Cabin Senior

    2000 Premium Class Crew

    2200 Economy Crew

  8. Scheduling should receive final terminations list within 2 weeks. Initial list being worked through and crew being notified.

    Will encompass the below as well as other undefined selections.

    Crew that have reached 15 yrs service

    Crew that are currently outside of Qatar due to restrictions on entry

    Crew that have not yet reached 6 month service.

    Chinese and Korean crew (possibly imbalance due to too many nationalities… more clarification needed)

    New joiner crew that have not yet finished training.

    Terminations to be recommended and administered by the below

    Mr Saliya Karunanayake

    Mr Errol Sequiera

    Mr Ashley Colaco

  9. Contractually it may not be possible or due to prevailing labour laws within Qatar. But I wonder, why can’t the Management instead of lay-offs, send these earmarked redundant employees on a no pay leave freezing all remunerations/compensations until the frozen period? In this case, QA would not lose it’s employees and even if one may join after one year…it would still be highly beneficial instead of spending millions of Riyals for recruitment processes.

    Isn’t this a viable option rather than breaking the hearts of these hard-working individuals without notice?

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