Emirates axing up to 9,000 jobs due to coronavirus pandemic

11 July 2020, 10:28 | Updated: 11 July 2020, 16:00

Up to 9,000 jobs are at risk at Emirates because of the pandemic
Up to 9,000 jobs are at risk at Emirates because of the pandemic. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Emirates is set to axe up to 9,000 jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Middle Eastern airline's president has announced.

Sir Tim Clark revealed the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on his company for the first time, saying it will "probably" have to cut up to 9,000 jobs.

The firm had 60,000 staff prior to the pandemic and announced on 31 May it had axed roles but did not reveal how many jobs were cut.

Sir Tim said the airline had removed a tenth of its staff, which would leave 54,000 jobs after 6,000 were cut.

However, Sir Tim added: "We will probably have to let go of a few more, probably up to 15 per cent."

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Prior to the cuts announced in May, Emirates was the sole holdout among the Gulf's three major East-West carriers on retaining staff.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways also let staff go as countries across the globe shut down their airspace as the virus spread.

Sir Tim acknowledged to the BBC that the carrier, owned by a Dubai sovereign wealth fund, was "not as badly off as others" and was "heading for one of our best years ever" prior to the pandemic.

Announcing the cuts in March, the company said it would treat its staff "with fairness and respect."

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Its statement added: "We have endeavoured to sustain the current family as is... but have come to the conclusion that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us."

The number of total losses expected at Emirates comes the day after the British Airlines Pilots' Association slammed proposals by carrier easyJet to use sick days as a factor when deciding which pilots to axe as part of its wave of redundancies as "unnecessary and wrong."

Job losses have stretched far beyond the travel sector and throughout the entire UK economy.

A day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out his "plan for jobs" it was found that almost 10,000 posts are at risk at household-name firms on the high street as a result of the pandemic.

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