DUBAI (Agencies): Dubai headquartered Emirates Group announced on Sunday that it will temporarily suspend passenger operations by March 25.
The airline said it will retain cargo operations. Dnata announced it significantly reduced operations, including temporary closure of operations at some international locations where demand is low.
The airline has aimed to maintain passenger flights for as long as feasible to help travellers return home amidst an increasing number of travel bans, restrictions, and country lockdowns across the world. 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.
With many of its airline customers dramatically reducing flights or ceasing services altogether, dnata has also significantly reduced its operations, including temporarily shutting some offices across its international network.
“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. By Wednesday 25 March, although we will still operate cargo flights which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended all its passenger operations. We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group.
No job cuts
The group is implementing basic salary reduction for majority of employees for three months, will not cut jobs.
However, the airline has outlined a number of cost reduction measures.
“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,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
Emirates Group said closely monitors the situation and keeps in regular contact with all relevant authorities, so that it can implement the latest guidance to keep travellers and its employees safe and healthy.
The company has strongly discouraged its employees from non-essential travel, implemented work from home policies for all employees where operationally feasible, enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols at its facilities, introduced temperature screening at its key office entry points, and launched internal educational campaigns on hand hygiene and health practices to reduce risk of COVID-19.
Over the past weeks, the airline has also implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures on all of its aircraft departing Dubai as a precaution, and worked closely with airports to implement screening measures as required by the local authorities.
Frontline employees such as crew and airport teams have also been provided with support to stay safe while on duty, including providing hand sanitizers and masks where required.