Emirates could cut almost 600 jobs in the UK

Joanna Whitehead
·2-min read
Emirates is set to make cuts to its UK-based workforce (Getty Images)
Emirates is set to make cuts to its UK-based workforce (Getty Images)

Almost 600 UK-based Emirates employees risk losing their jobs after the airline warned its employees of the need to “consider reducing the size of the UK workforce”.

The United Arab Emirates flag carrier stated that quarantine, border controls and other travel restrictions had left passenger demand “extremely subdued”, according to an internal memo seen by The Telegraph.

“We have to reduce the scale of the operation in order to protect our cash flow and safeguard our business, to ensure that we have a viable future,” the staff email read.

The news follows a previous announcement by its president that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to the loss of up to 9,000 of its 60,000 strong workforce.

Speaking to the BBC in July, Sir Tim Clark said the airline would need to “let go of a few more” staff, having already cut a tenth of its staff.

Despite insisting that the airline was “not as badly off as others”, he admitted that about 15 per cent of employees would probably be “let go”.

The Independent has approached Emirates for additional comment.

The airline is the latest casualty of a beleaguered aviation industry that continues to suffer from a sharp fall in the number of passengers as a result of Covid-19.

Earlier this week, London’s City Airport announced it would be cutting up to 239 jobs – over a third of staff – as part of “crucial restructuring plans”.

And, earlier this month, Virgin Atlantic confirmed plans to cut 1,150 jobs, despite the approval of £1.2bn a rescue deal.

The move would see a reduction in the company’s workforce of one third.

Elsewhere, British Airways has already cut more than 6,000 staff through voluntary redundancy and mothballed its £200m Heathrow base; easyJet has announced that it will close its bases at London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle airports from 1 September, as well as slashing 30 per cent of jobs; and Jet2 is making 102 pilots redundant.

Experts have scaled back their expectations of how soon the aviation industry could recover, with air travel not expected to hit pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

Leading trade body the International Air Transport Association (Iata) originally predicted that flights would recover to 2019 numbers by 2023, but has since pushed back its forecast by a year.

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