Etihad Airways on Wednesday said its 10 Airbus A380s will remain grounded until air travel demand improves further. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier will reportedly also lay off around 1,000 cabin crew this week, a Local Daily reported.
“As Etihad continues to focus on recovery and rebuilding our global network, we will continue to rely on the efficiencies and advantages of our twin-engine widebody aircraft. During this period, Etihad’s 10 A380s will remain grounded, unless the demand grows and there is sufficient appetite to reassess their viability,” an Etihad spokesperson said in a statement.
Quoting a source, Reuters said that chief executive Tony Douglas had told staff that A380s would continue to be parked “indefinitely”. The jumbo jets have been grounded since March due to the pandemic
Quoting an internal email of Etihad Airways, Reuters also reported that Etihad will lay off more workers this week and the staff will be notified within 24 hours. However, the email didn’t disclose how many people will be made redundant.
The warning was sent out two days after a similar notice was sent out to pilots at the Abu Dhabi state carrier. Etihad has already cut jobs and salaries as its losses widened this year.
Staff were told in the email that Etihad believes it will become a much smaller airline as air travel demand has not been recovering fast enough, leaving the carrier with a larger workforce than it needs.
Quoting a company source, Reuters said up to 1,000 cabin crew job cuts are expected, including senior cabin staff and cabin managers.
The airline employed around 4,800 cabin crew as of February.
Etihad this week said it would push ahead with plans to shrink the airline into a mid-sized carrier concentrating on its wide-body fleet, raising questions about the future of its 30 narrow-body Airbus A320 jets.
“As always we continue to focus on the wellness and safety of our guests while providing the world-class service they deserve and have come to expect from Etihad,” said the spokesperson on Wednesday.