One of the largest airlines in the world, Emirates yesterday reversed its decision of temporary suspension of all its passenger flights due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In the first of its series of tweets the Dubai-based airline announced that it had decided to ‘temporarily suspend most passenger flights by 25 March 2020’ though it would continue to operate its cargo flights and its SkyCargo operations.
It reversed its decision soon thereafter, ‘Having received requests from governments & customers to support repatriation of travellers’.
The airline urged passengers to check flight status as the situation was still dynamic.
Emirates apologised to customers for the disruptions.
In its statement the Emirates said that it would help travellers return home where feasible if there was demand given the increasing number of travel bans, restrictions, and country lockdowns across the world.
It added that it continues to maintain vital international air cargo links for economies and communities, deploying its fleet of 777 freighters for the transport of essential goods including medical supplies across the world.
Cost Cutting Measures
Meanwhile Emirates said in a statement that, “The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale - geographically, as well as from a health, social and economic standpoint. Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But Covid-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks."
The airline therefore is initiating several cost-cuttiing measures:
- dnata has reduced its operations and temporarily shut down some offices across its international network.
- Emirates is initiating a temporary salary reduction - The basic salary of a majority of its employees will be cut by 25 to 50 percent for three months while the Presidents of Emirates and dnata will take a 100 per cent basic salary cut for three months.
Other cost-cutting measures to be implemented are:
- Postponing or cancelling discretionary expenditure
- A freeze on all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work
- Working with suppliers to find cost savings and efficiency
- Encouraging employees to take paid or unpaid leave in light of reduced flying capacity