Dubai’s Emirates Group has asked employees to take voluntary leave in light of the worldwide outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
“We can confirm the email was sent to our employees. The leave we are asking employees to take is voluntary. It is at the employee’s discretion if they want to take it or not,” the airline confirmed to .
Emirates Group, a state-owned holding company that counts Emirates airline among its assets, had more than 100,000 employees, including more than 21,000 cabin crew and 4,000 pilots, at end-March 2019, the end of its last financial year.
“A particular challenge for us right now is dealing with the impact of the Covid-19,” the email to staff said, according to news agency Reuters.
“We’ve seen a measurable slowdown in business across our brands, and a need for flexibility in the way we work.”
The email asked staff who have “accrued a significant balance of annual leave” to consider taking paid leave. It also said the company was offering unpaid leave to employees in non-operational roles and may offer it to operational staff.
“In all cases, we strongly encourage you to take up this opportunity if you have the support and approval of your line manager,” the email said.
Emirates Group’s holdings also include dnata, which operates airport services and travel agencies around the world.