Emirates offers pilots, cabin crew four months unpaid leave

DUBAI (Reuters) – Emirates airline is offering some pilots and cabin crew up to four months of unpaid leave, as it strives to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an internal email said.

The Dubai state-owned carrier, facing a cash crunch caused by the pandemic, has already cut salaries and thousands of jobs, including pilots and cabin crew.

Eligible pilots and cabin crew can take up to four months off between August and November during which they would still receive benefits, such as company-provided accommodation, an internal email seen by Reuters said.

“As a result of recent and unexpected travel restrictions imposed by some countries, an opportunity has arisen to offer our pilots and cabin crew unpaid leave. We have elected to offer this option as a short-term measure to reduce our resources,” the email said.

An Emirates spokeswoman confirmed the unpaid leave had been offered.

Emirates is operating a limited number of flights due to border restrictions around the world. It plans to fly to 62 destinations in August compared with 157 destinations prior to the pandemic.

Emirates on Thursday announced it would cover medical costs of up to 150,000 euros ($173,850.00) and quarantine costs of up to 100 euro a day for 14 days for any passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus during their travel.

The coverage is free of charge, it said.

Reporting and photo: Reuters

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