Emirates Airline has been closely cooperating with dnata to adapt operations, in line with regulatory directives and travel demand during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The carrier has worked to maintain passenger flights for as long as feasible to help travellers return home amidst an increasing number of travel bans, restrictions and country lockdowns across the world. It continues to maintain vital international air cargo links for economies and communities, deploying its fleet of 777 freighters for the transport of essential goods including medical supplies across the world.
With many of its airline customers dramatically reducing flights or ceasing services altogether, dnata has also significantly reduced its operations, including temporarily shutting some offices across its international network.
Chairman and chief executive, Emirates Group, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum stated: “This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale; geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint. Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks.
“As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries reopen their borders, and travel confidence returns. By March 25 – excluding cargo flights, which remain busy – Emirates Airline will have temporarily suspended most of its passenger operations. We continue to watch the situation closely and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services.”
Emirates Airline will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to the following countries and territories until further notice: the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, USA and Canada.
HH Sheikh Al Maktoum added: “Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality.”
Emirates Group has undertaken a series of measures to contain costs, as the outlook for travel demand remains weak across markets in the short to medium term. This includes postponing or cancelling discretionary expenditure; a freeze on all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work; working with suppliers to find cost savings and efficiency; and encouraging employees to take paid or unpaid leave in light of reduced flying capacity.
The company has strongly discouraged its employees from non-essential travel, implemented work from home policies for all employees where operationally feasible, enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols at its facilities, introduced temperature screening at its key office entry points, and launched internal educational campaigns on hand hygiene and health practices to reduce risk of COVID-19.
HH Sheikh Al Maktoum concluded: “These are unprecedented times for the airline and travel industry, but we will get through it. Our business is taking a hit, but what matters in the long run is that we do the right thing for our customers, our employees, and the communities we serve. With the support and unity that we have seen from our employees, partners, customers and other stakeholders, I’m confident that Emirates can tackle this challenge and come out stronger.”