Major international airline Emirates is asking staff to take unpaid leave for up to a month at a time due to the spread of COVID-19 that has led to flight cancellations around the world.
Emirates has cancelled flights to Iran, Bahrain and to most of China because of the virus, and countries around the world have placed strict restrictions on entry of foreigners.
Emirates Group, the state-owned holding company that counts the airline among its assets, has asked staff to consider taking paid and unpaid leave as it seeks to manage a “measurable slowdown” in its business.
At the end of its last financial year in March 2019, the group had more than 100,000 employees, including more than 21,000 cabin crew and 4,000 pilots.
The airline industry’s largest global body IATA urged Middle Eastern governments to provide support to airlines as they try to manage the impact of the outbreak.