Emirates will stop all passenger traffic from Wednesday. Until further notice, the airline will only operate cargo flights.
The largest operator of Airbus A380s will ground all passenger flights. Emirates announced on Sunday (22 March) that passenger traffic will be suspended from Wednesday 25 March. «The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak,» said Emirates Group CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. «This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale. As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders, and travel confidence returns»
That is why the Dubai based airline is suspending all passenger flights on March 25th. However, Boeing 777s will continue to be used for cargo flights as that segment continues to be busy. Al Maktoum does not say until when the flight stop will be in effect. As soon as the situation allows for operations to resume, Emirates would do so, the airline states.
No salary for Tim Clark and Gary Chapman
The airport services provider Dubai National Air Transport Association (Dnata), another member of the Group, is also feeling the effects of the decline in demand. Several offices around the world have been closed and operations have been significantly reduced. The group has also announced strict cost-cutting measures in other areas. The majority of the staff has to prepare for a three-month salary reduction of 25 to 50 percent. Emirates President Tim Clark as well as Dnata boss Gary Chapman will forego 100 percent of their wages during this period.
Emirates has also urged staff to take paid or unpaid leave. A hiring freeze has also been imposed and spending on everything non-essential has been stopped. Jobs will not be cut according to the company. «Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality», Al Maktoum is quoted in a press release.