Emirates Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Emirates laid off more pilots and cabin crew this week in another round of job cuts as the airline shrinks its workforce due to the coronavirus pandemic, four sources said.

A spokesperson for the Dubai-based airline told Gulf News in a statement: "“We can confirm that we are still in the process of implementing the redundancy exercise across our Group, as previously communicated. While we have slowly restarted operations wherever it is safe and commercially viable, our footprint today is significantly smaller than before and it will take a while for us to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

"Like other airlines and travel companies, COVID-19 has hit us hard, and as a responsible business, we simply must right-size our workforce in line with our reduced operational requirements. Our people have always been a big contributing factor to our success, so this is not an action that we relish, nor one that we take lightly. We continue to take every possible action to reduce costs, restore revenue streams, and preserve jobs.”

A Reuters report added that a company spokeswoman on Thursday did not say how many employees had been made redundant in this week's job cuts or from which departments. The airline has a workforce of 4,300 pilots and nearly 22,000 cabin crew.

Emirates Chief Operating Officer Adel Ahmad Al Redha told Reuters on June 25 not all of its 115 Airbus A380s would return to service this year and that the airline needed to review its strategy.

Emirates laid off pilots and cabin crew last month as well.

Aviation is one of the industries worst hit by the fallout from the virus outbreak, with airlines forced to lay off staff and seek government bailouts in anticipation of a slow recovery.

- With inputs from Reuters