Emirates Suspending All Passenger Flights On Wednesday

Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has announced that the airline will shut down passenger operations by Wednesday, March 25. Cargo flights will continue. They had already announced a 70% scale-back of flights.

Emirates is honoring refunds but warning of processing delays.

The top executives are forgoing salary completely. The majority of employees are taking a 25% – 50% pay cut over the next three months (it wouldn’t surprise me to see this extended). However junior employees are exempt from salary reductions. The airline is not furloughing anyone at this time.

With worldwide travel restrictions, a ban on their country’s own citizens from leaving, and a suspension of visas for arriving passengers seeking to enter, there wasn’t enough business to continue. They were largely limited to repatriating citizens, and connecting passengers though many destinations were blocked for those.

The airline had been testing all cabin crew and pilots entering the country after their flights starting Friday morning. More COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the U.A.E. than in the U.S. However long lines, up to two hours, meant that social distancing of broke down in as a result of the entry process. As a result crew were being placed into quarantine pending testing.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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