Emirates Recalling Laid-Off Flight Attendants, Pilots as it Responds to ‘Spike in Travel Demand’

Emirates is considering recalling thousands of pilots and flight attendants that were made redundant at the peak of the pandemic after the Dubai-based airline reported a “spike in travel demand” and announced plans to scale up its operations in the coming weeks.

The airline never revealed exactly how many employees it made redundant when it had to “right-size” its workforce last summer, although it’s estimated that at least a third of its cabin crew (7,500 employees) were laid off, as well as many hundreds of pilots.

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Photo Credit: Emirates

In the last few days, however, ex-pilots and flight attendants have received an email from Emirates telling them that they might be recalled. Laid-off employees were initially told they wouldn’t be rehired because there was a “reason” why they had been selected for redundancy over their colleagues.

“We’ve mapped up our operations to reflect this positive trend in demand but we still remain cautious in managing our resources to be as efficient as possible,” the email sent by Emirates’ HR department explained.

“At this stage, we’re inviting Cabin Crew interested in rejoining Emirates to register their interest on the Emirates Group Careers website. This is not a call-back at this stage, but rather an expression of interest so we are ready to reactivate when the time is right”.

Emirates has opened up the registration process to anyone, although the airline will be trying to avoid a situation in which passenger demand exceeds capacity levels. Staffing woes have plagued the recovery of U.S.-based airlines this summer after carriers chose to shrink their workforces.

Even with payroll support, some airlines have struggled to bring staff back fast enough to meet spikes in demand.

Emirates is readying itself to restore capacity across 29 cities on its network on over 270 flights after the UAE authorities lifted travel restrictions and the British government put Dubai on the ‘Amber’ travel list.

For the UK alone, by October, Emirates will be operating 73 weekly services including six daily flights to London – four of which will be served by the Airbus A380.

Earlier this summer, flydubai began the process of recalling flight attendants who had been furloughed rather than laid off. Etihad Airways has also asked ex-cabin crew to submit an expression of interest in rejoining the airline, while Qatar Airways is actively hiring ex-cabin crew and new joiners.

Mateusz Maszczynski

Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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