Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
CEO of "Flydubai," Ghaith Al Ghaith stated that the carrier's operational capacity has reached about 65 per cent compared to pre COVID-19 capacity prior to the closure of crucial source markets India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh due to COVID-19.
"We are optimistic about the summer season, but the biggest question would be: which country will be open?” Ghaith said during a virtual meeting with John Strickland, an aviation sector expert, within the activities of the second day of the virtual edition of the Arab Travel Market (ATM-2021).
“Flydubai has contacted its staff members who chose to take unpaid leave due to COVID-19, in order to return to work starting from June 2021,” Ghaith confirmed.
He explained that the airline has set a schedule for returning employees to service again, indicating that 97 per cent of staff who were offered the choice of taking unpaid leave or redundancy at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, had opted to choose the former.
“This confirms their commitment to the company, and the decision to return them to work confirms our endeavor to retain our employees,” Al Ghaith added.
He further stressed the importance of the cooperation between Flydubai and other entities in mitigating the financial impacts on employees under the pandemic, such as bank facilities and others.
He continued, “The aviation sector in the UAE has tackled the ramification imposed by the pandemic, where the government initiated successful steps and measures to combat COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak.
Moreover, the vaccination rates in the UAE are the highest in the world. Initially, the demand was concentrated in cargo, so Flydubai allocated Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the new generation, to operate full cargo flights to ensure the smooth movement of goods, he added.
He pointed out that repatriation flights were operated around the world and from various markets, which helped the carrier to resume private flights. And at a later stage, Flydubai began flying its Boeing 737MAX aircraft after getting approvals from the UAE’s aviation regulator earlier this year, he added.
Al Ghaith also noted that Flydubai saw financial flows with the resumption of business and regular flights, and there was a guarantee from the founders to help it under the pandemic, but the airline was able to manage the cash flow internally with the resumption of its operations.
The carrier flew several seasonal flights for summer tourism destinations, and that it is looking forward to more upcoming opportunities in the aviation sector, he added.
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