Dubai-based state-owned carrier Emirates has reportedly laid off about 180 pilots on May 31, as part of its cost-cutting strategy amid growing financial woes in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
These pilots were on probation and were the first officers under training for type-rating on the A380 fleet, Moneycontrol reported.
"This is the first phase of the layoffs. These pilots were called to the office and given the letters," the report quoted a senior executive as saying. The executive added that more layoffs are "expected tomorrow".
As per the report, the notice period for those on probation is seven days, but Emirates has decided to extend this to 14 days, as a 'gesture of goodwill'.
Emirates, one of the world's biggest long-haul airlines, had suspended regular passenger flights in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It resumed flight operations from 21 May to nine destinations - London Heathrow Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne.
There was speculation in the market that Emirates Group, the parent company of Emirates Airline, may cut about 30,000 jobs to reduce costs amid the coronavirus outbreak. The aviation services company owned by the government of Dubai plans to cut down its workforce by about 30 per cent from more than 105,000 at the end of March, as per Bloomberg News report.
The state-owned airline reported a 21 per cent growth in net profit for its financial year ending March 31, but said the coronavirus pandemic had hit its fourth-quarter earnings. The Dubai state carrier clocked 1.1 billion dirhams ($287.5 million) in FY21, compared to 871 million dirhams in the previous year. Revenue, however, declined by 6.1 per cent to 92 billion dirham due to 4.2 per cent decline in the number of passengers carried by the airline.
By Chitranjan Kumar