Emirates cuts almost all passenger flights

Emirates cuts almost all passenger flights
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Dubai’s Emirates is suspending most of its passenger flights amid the coronavirus outbreak, the airline announced Sunday. 

The airline said passenger flights were maintained “as long as feasible” to help travellers return home, but most flights will be temporarily suspended beginning Wednesday, according to the company announcement

Emirates said it will continue to maintain vital international cargo flights. 

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“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,” chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in the announcement. 

“We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services,” he added. 

In addition to suspending most flights, Emirates is “encouraging employees to take paid or unpaid leave.” 

Emirates is also putting in place a temporary 25 to 50 percent reduction of basic salary for the majority of Emirates Group employees. 

“Rather than ask employees to leave the business, we chose to implement a temporary basic salary cut as we want to protect our workforce and keep our talented and skilled people, as much as possible,” Sheikh Ahmad said. “We want to avoid cutting jobs. When demand picks up again, we also want to be able to quickly ramp up and resume services for our customers.”

The presidents of Emirates and dnata, an airport ground services company the airline operates, will both forgo their salaries for three months, according to the company announcement.