Grounded services and gloomy forecasts have pushed global airlines to the brink. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has laid off employees this month, including cabin crew, after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to ground flights.

An Etihad spokeswoman told Reuters there had been redundancies across several areas of the airline - "It is clear the demand for travel in the near future will be significantly reduced and as a result we must make difficult decisions to ensure Etihad will weather this storm." 

The state-owned airline, which had 20,530 employees as of August 2019, grounded passenger flights in March and a month later said it had made a large number of staff redundant. Etihad, which has lost $5.6 billion since 2016, has slashed wages as global travel has come to a near standstill.

It has operated some passenger flights since March, mostly for foreigners leaving the UAE and said it plans to resume regular passenger flights in June.

Read more