UAE-based carrier Emirates Airline has further cut its workforce by nearly 1,500 employees this year, according to data released on Wednesday. 

The long-haul operator’s total workforce as of the end of September 2021 stood at 39,371, down by 4 percent or 1,430 compared to September last year, when more countries reopened their borders and eased COVID-19 restrictions.  

This brings the total number of job cuts since the onset of the pandemic to more than 20,000. The largest operator of A380 aircraft had 59,519 ground and cabin crew at the end of March 2020. 

The airline reported that its losses for the first half of its 2021-2022 financial year, or from April to September, had narrowed to 5.8 billion dirhams ($1.6 billion), supported by an uptick in travel demand.  

Emirates had announced plans in October to recruit 6,000 employees, including pilots, cabin crew, engineering specialists and ground staff, to support its strategy to scale up operations across its network worldwide. 

Emirates has been re-deploying its fleet as more countries reopened to international travel. The airline has so far restored 90 percent of its network and is confident it will reach 70 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity by the end of the year. 

In a statement on Wednesday, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said it may take some time for the business to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

“While there’s still some way to go before we restore our operations to pre-pandemic levels and return to profitability, we are well on the recovery path with healthy revenue and a solid cash balance at the end of our first half of 2021-22,” Al Maktoum said. 

In the first half of its 2021-22 financial year, Emirates’ revenue, including other operating income, was up 86 percent compared with the 11.7 billion dirhams recorded during the same period last year. 

“The strong revenue recovery reflects quick return of passenger demand wherever flight and travel restrictions were eased around the world.”

As of September 2021, the airline carried more than 6 million passengers, up significantly by 319 percent from the 1.45 million passengers carried as of the end of September 2020. 

Emirates Airline’s financial results 


(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria )

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