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Emirates airline and Etihad Airways are extending the period of reduced pay for their staff until September.
The aviation industry has been among the worst hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has dented travel demand and forced major airlines to lay off staff and seek government bailouts.
“Regrettably the scale and impact that COVID-19 has had on the world economy and the aviation sector has led us to make another difficult decision, the Emirates airline’s spokesperson told Gulf Today on Sunday.
“As of July 1st, a 50% reduction on basic salary for all employees in Grades 4 and above, including equivalent grades will take effect”, the airline’s spokesperson added.
“This will also be applicable to outstation employees subject to local legislation and consultation requirements. This is never an easy decision to make and rest assured we will endeavor to treat everyone involved with the utmost fairness and respect.”
Etihad Airways has also extended its salary cuts of between 25% to 50% to September, a spokesperson of Etihad Aviation Group confirmed to Gulf Today on Sunday.
“Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, Etihad is continuing to consider all options to protect jobs and preserve cash at this challenging time,” the spokesperson added.
“Regretfully, Etihad has extended its salary reduction until September 2020, with 25% reduction for junior staff and cabin crew, and 50% for employees at manager level and above.”
According to the spokesperson, the allowances and a number of benefits will continue to be paid.
Meanwhile, Emirates and Etihad Airways recently announced that they would resume some transit flights after the UAE lifted a suspension on services where passengers stop off in the country to change planes, or for refueling.
Dubai’s Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, said last week that it would operate transit flights to 29 destinations in Asia, Europe and North America by June 15.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, meanwhile, said it would carry transit passengers to 20 cities in Europe, Asia and Australia from June 10.
The suspension was lifted recently for UAE carriers, more than two months after the country halted all passenger flights in March as it introduced drastic measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
It has since allowed a few, limited flights, while domestic restrictions such as the closure of shopping centers have been lifted.
Foreign citizens remain banned from entering the country except those holding UAE residency, who require UAE government approval before returning.
Emirates has processed nearly 650,000 refund requests, returning over Dhs1.9 billion to its customers and making good on its promise to expedite refunds after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel plans for millions of customers.
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On Monday the health ministry said around 280,000 cases and 4,106 deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours. Both numbers are almost certainly undercounts.
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