Sources from the airline said layoffs have been made across departments, including cabin crew.
The national carrier of Abu Dhabi, which had 20,530 employees as of August last year, has been rolling out a range of measures to mitigate the evolving impact of COVID-19. In March of this year, UAE authorities opted to ground all passenger flights in the country, at which time Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas assured the carrier was “prepared to weather the commercial and operational impact” of the suspension.Just a few days after this statement, Etihad revealed that it had introduced company-wide salary cuts, with some going as high as 50%.
Speaking to Reuters, a spokesperson for the airline said: “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 spokesperson also revealed that staff are being let go on an almost daily basis, with more job cuts expected to come soon.
As the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to deepen for the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association has estimated the industry’s revenues could drop by as much as US$314 billion this year.