- Dubai’s Emirates airline has seen a slowdown in business due to coronavirus outbreak and told employees to take paid and unpaid leave
- The internal email was sent to all of Emirates’ employees - 21,000 cabin crew and 4,000 pilots
- Emirates has cancelled all flights to Iran and China, except for Beijing
Emirates Group said it has noticed a “measurable slowdown” in business after the coronavirus outbreak and has emailed employees to take paid and unpaid leave, as reported by the Reuters.
“We can confirm the email was sent to our employees around unpaid leave. Point to note – the leave we are asking employees to take is voluntary. It is at the employee’s discretion if they want to take it or not,” said an Emirates representative yesterday.
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The airline has reportedly sent the email to all of its staff, which amounts to over 21,000 cabin crew and 4,000 pilots.
“A particular challenge for us right now is dealing with the impact of the COVID-19. We’ve seen a measurable slowdown in business across our brands and a need for flexibility in the way we work,” Emirates wrote in the internal email.
The company also encouraged employees who have “accrued a significant balance of annual leave” to take a paid vacation, while also offering unpaid leave to non-operational staff, an option which might get offered to operational staff as well.
Over 25,000 of Cathay Pacific Airways employees accepted to take unpaid leave last week, said the Chief Executive Augustus Tang in an internal memo. In the memo, Tang thanked staff for their support as the company struggles with the impact of the epidemic.
The epidemic has also forced Emirates to cancel all flights to Iran and China, except for Beijing. In Iran, the coronavirus has taken 43 lives and infected 593 people so far.
Before the outbreak, the number of flights between Dubai and China had peaked. According to the Dubai International Airport’s traffic report from last year, 3,681,896 people from mainland China and Hong Kong travelled through DXB in 2019, 5% more than the year before.
Emirates also said it has stopped carrying passengers to Saudi Arabia, those who travel for Umrah, and tourists from more than 20 countries until further notice, in accordance with the order from Saudi authorities to contain the virus outbreak.