Qatar Airways, the only Gulf airline that has continued to fly during the Covid-19 pandemic while Emirates and Etihad grounded their fleets beyond some repatriation flights, has announced imminent staff layoffs.
The airline’s head Akbar Al-Baker sent out a notice to all employees on Monday about the difficult situation the airline has found itself in and that there will be “reductions” in the number of crew required (number of lay off staff is unclear).
You can access Qatar Airways here.
Here’s the message that Qatar Airways sent out to its cabin crew:
Note that I have confirmed the authenticity of this message from a friend who works for the airline.
You have to give Qatar Airways and the state of Qatar credit. Doha was never closed, unlike other major hubs such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, among others, and the airline has continued to provide much-needed connectivity between countries that allow incoming and outgoing traffic getting people back to their homes.
Make no mistake. Even the Gulf Airlines, usually referred to as ME3 (Emirates, Etihad & Qatar Airways), are not immune to the Covid-19, and the subsequent recession that has already set in.
It has been estimated that it will take anywhere from 3 to 5 years for the air traffic to recover to the December 2019 level.
Several airlines have already publicly announced layoffs such as SAS (50%), BA (27%), and Virgin Atlantic (roughly a third).