Emirates to suspend all passenger flights as coronavirus wreaks havoc


One of the world’s biggest airlines, Emirates, will suspend all its passenger flights beginning Wednesday, March 25 following the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on travel demand.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Emirates Airlines termed the decision as a “painful but pragmatic move” saying its aimed at preserving business viability.

The airline will however continue providing its SkyCargo operations.

“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 March 25, 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.

This comes as the latest move in a series of measures undertaken by the Emirates Group to contain costs, amid a weak travel demand across markets.

These include a temporary reduction of basic salary for the majority of Emirates Group employees for three months, ranging from 25% to 50%.

“Employees will continue to be paid their other allowances during this time. Junior level employees will be exempt from basic salary reduction,” said the airline.

Presidents of Emirates and dnata – Sir Tim Clark and Gary Chapman – will take a 100% basic salary cut for three months.

Its employees are also encouraged to take paid or unpaid leave in light of reduced flying capacity.

At the same time the company has frozen all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work.

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