Emirates is gradually launching services across its network, but until such time it gets back to full capacity, it wants cabin crew to consider voluntary leave. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Emirates and Etihad Airways have again asked cabin crew to take voluntary unpaid leave as they try to emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters has reported.

“We can confirm that we had offered cabin crew the opportunity to apply for voluntary unpaid leave,” an Emirates spokeswoman told Gulf News. "We will not be providing figures on employee take-up [rates]."

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Emirates crew were told they can take unpaid leave for between one and three months from September 1 to November 30 owing to expected staffing requirements, Reuters added.

As for Etihad, staff were told that the airline has more crew than needed and that some are not being rostered on flights, which is not sustainable for the business.

Etihad was not immediately available for a comment when contacted by Gulf News.

Numbers tell the tale

UAE's airlines had suspended flights from March after the closure of international borders. The national airline Etihad recently reported operating losses of $758 million in the first six months.