Moneycontrol PRO

Exclusive | Emirates sacks 600 pilots in a day

Those sacked include a few Indian pilots, who were earlier with IndiGo. The layoffs are among the biggest for any airline in the world.

June 09, 2020 / 07:24 PM IST
  • bselive
  • nselive
Todays L/H

Emirates, the state-owned Dubai-based airline, fired 600 pilots, including some from India, on June 9 in what is being seen as one of the largest layoffs in the airline industry.

The Indian pilots had recently joined the airline from IndiGo, the country's largest carrier, industry sources told Moneycontrol.

The latest round of firing takes to 792 the number of pilots who have been sacked by Emirates, one of the world's biggest long-haul airlines.

The airline began trimming its workforce on May 31 when it had sacked 180 pilots.

Sources told Moneycontrol that the pilots sacked on June 9 were first officers who were under training for type-rating on the A380. The pilots were on probation.

"Most of the pilots fired by Emirates on June 9 are on its A380 fleet," said a senior industry executive.

Over the years, Emirates has evolved into a premium airline, with a reputation for fine service that seen it emerge as the world's biggest operator of the jumbo A380 aircraft.

The airline plans to retire a large part of its fleet following the coronavirus outbreak that has brought the airline industry to a standstill, with countries around the world restricting movement of people. Around 40 of its 115 A380 aircraft will be put out of service.

In response to a query from Moneycontrol, Emirates spokesperson said:

“As previously communicated, we at Emirates have been doing everything possible to retain the talented people that make up our workforce for as long as we can. However, given the significant impact that the pandemic has had on our business, we simply cannot sustain excess resources and have to right-size our workforce in line with our reduced operations.

"After reviewing all scenarios and options, we deeply regret that we have to let some of our people go. This was a very difficult decision and not one that we took lightly. The company is doing everything possible to protect the workforce wherever we can. Where we are forced to take tough decisions we will treat people with fairness and respect. We will work with impacted employees to provide them with all possible support.”

"Your last day of service would, therefore, be June 15, and you will continue to receive your usual company medial benefits... should you be unable to repatriate due to travel restrictions, your visa will be extended being your last day of service."

Reports had earlier said that the airline will layoff 30 percent of its crew and pilots.  This will translate to about 30,000 employees.

Prince Mathews Thomas
Prince Mathews Thomas heads the corporate bureau of Moneycontrol. He has been covering the business world for 16 years, having worked in The Hindu Business Line, Forbes India, Dow Jones Newswires, The Economic Times, Business Standard and The Week. A Chevening scholar, Prince has also authored The Consolidators, a book on second generation entrepreneurs.
first published: Jun 9, 2020 03:51 pm