Emirates, the world's biggest long-haul airline, plans to recruit more than 6,000 staff over the next six months to boost its workforce as travel demand rebounds.
As Covid-19 restrictions ease globally with the accelerated distribution of vaccines – additional pilots, cabin crew, engineering specialists and ground staff will be needed to support the airline’s increasing operations across its global network – to respond to the sooner-than-expected surge in customer demand, the airline said on Monday.
Emirates has already restored 90 per cent of its network and is on track to reach 70 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity by the end of 2021, it said.
“Emirates has always been at the heart of Dubai’s growth. Our requirement for 6,000 additional operational staff signifies the quick recovery Dubai’s economy is witnessing and will lead to opportunities and other positive developments across various other businesses, including those in the consumer, travel and tourism sectors,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and group, said.
The Covid-19 pandemic hit the global aviation industry hard last year and led to airlines grounding planes, cutting jobs and slashing salaries.
However, the reopening of economies globally, the easing of pandemic-induced travel restrictions and rapid vaccination programmes are leading to a rebound in travel demand.
As with many other major airlines around the world, Emirates took steps to slash costs and conserve cash by reducing staff wages, cutting jobs and offering cabin crew voluntary unpaid leave to cope with the fallout from the pandemic.
But the airline has gradually restored operations in line with the easing of travel restrictions around the world. It has recalled pilots, cabin crew and other operational employees who were stood down when the pandemic forced a drastic reduction in flights last year.
It also reinstated the full salaries of its staff from October last year.
Cabin crew serving in Emirate’s economy-class cabins are entitled to an average starting monthly salary of Dh9,770 ($2,660), based on 80 to 100 flying hours per month, according to the airline’s website.
Captains who can operate Emirates' A380 or Boeing 777 are entitled to a monthly salary of Dh43,013 – basic salary and flying pay included – based on an average 85 flying hours per month.
The airline is supplementing its flight schedules with increased frequency to meet pent-up travel demand, it said on Monday.
Emirates is using its high-capacity, double-decker A380 aircraft on popular routes in its network. By November, the airline will offer more than 165,000 additional seats on its flagship A380 aircraft, it said.
“We have been prudently restoring our operations in line with the borders reopening and ease of travel protocols, and with the positive signs in the economic recovery and continuous growth of demand, we are hopeful to be back to where we were pre-pandemic, from mid-2022,” Sheikh Ahmed said.
In September, Emirates said it would recruit 3,000 cabin crew and 500 airport services employees to join its Dubai base to support operational requirements.
“As travel demand gains more traction than was earlier anticipated, Emirates will now require an additional 700 ground staff in Dubai and across its network,” the airline said.
Emirates is also recruiting 600 qualified pilots in Dubai.
The airline will reinforce its engineering team by hiring 1,200 skilled technical staff, comprising aircraft engineers and engineering support staff, to be based in Dubai and outstations.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft. Its fleet currently comprises 263 wide-body aircraft and the airline has ordered a number of new aircraft to meet future demand, including Airbus A350s, Boeing 787-9s and Boeing 777-X aircraft types, it said.
All of Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft are in active service, flying to more than 120 destinations on both passenger and cargo missions. The airline flies its A380 to 18 cities and this will soon increase to reach 27 destinations at the end of November, Emirates said.
By December, the last two A380s will be delivered to join Emirates’ fleet and 50 of its A380 aircraft will have returned to active service, the airline said.