Statement attributable to Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Airline:
With the outbreak of COVID-19, some countries have imposed travel restrictions on entry for operating crew and passengers, which has resulted in Emirates having to amend its operating schedule by either reducing frequencies or cancelling flights to specific destinations.
The knock on effect of these operational changes has resulted in more resources than required in certain areas of the business for our day to day requirements. People are at the heart of the Emirates strategy, and it has always been our aim to protect our workforce and limit the impact to their roles during a global crisis and through tough economic conditions. Considering the availability of additional resources and the fact that many employees want to utilise their leave, we have provided our employees the option to avail leave or apply for voluntary unpaid leave for up to one month at a time.
Considering the rapid development and the widespread nature of the outbreak, we have fully activated our Crisis Management Centre since January to closely monitor the situation and take decisive action across all areas of our business. These measures have included providing medical advice to our staff, implementation of practices at the airport to meet specific country travel requirements as well as adjusting our schedule and amending capacity to meet passenger demand across different regions. While we have seen some slowdown in certain markets there has been high demand in other areas.
The safety and health of our customers and employees is taken very seriously and we are continuously liaising with international and local health organizations to ensure we are following the most up-to-date medical guidelines and directives. As an additional measure we have stepped up aircraft cleaning, and in cases where we are alerted to any suspect or confirmed cases of infectious diseases, we will disinfect all cabins of those aircraft.
This is a dynamic situation which we are managing carefully as a business, and we strongly urge our customers to practice good hand and health hygiene and follow the World Health Organization and health authorities guidelines.
We have been tested before and Emirates will come out stronger because we keep our sights on the things that matter – delivering the best possible services to our customers, our products and continued innovation.