Dubai-based workers will receive increases in accommodation and transport allowances and a 5 per cent raise in their basic salaries from July 1 and a 10 per cent increase in the education support allowance from September, according to an Emirates Group letter to employees seen by The National.
The basic salaries of staff based abroad will be raised to keep pace with the cost of living where they are based, with changes to fixed allowances linked to local market conditions, the company said.
“These increases are a direct response to the rise in cost of living and inflation, which we recognise has put pressure on you and your families,” the memo said.
The airline's decision to raise employee wages comes after it set aside a bonus pot of Dh10.6 billion ($2.9 billion) for more than 50,000 of its employees, who received 24 weeks of pay with their May salary after the company reported a record annual profit.
Airlines around the world have renegotiated wages and paid bonuses as surging inflation drives up food and energy bills for employees.
Last year, British Airways, Germany's Lufthansa and Air France all agreed to salary increases ranging from 2.5 per cent to 8 per cent.
The decision by some airlines to pay higher wages also reflects the intense competition for aviation workers, as they seek to strengthen their operations in response to high travel demand after the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is also another indicator of the industry's recovery from the devastating impact of the pandemic since 2020, which forced airlines to cut jobs and salaries, and furlough staff as much of their fleets were grounded.
The global airline industry's annual profit forecast for 2023 more than doubled on higher travel demand and lower jet fuel prices in the first half of the year, according to the International Air Transport Association's latest report in June.
The industry is expected to collectively earn $9.8 billion in net income this year, up from a December forecast of $4.7 billion, Iata said earlier this month.