Emirates profit rebound threatened by summer pilot shortage

Emirates is reducing flights in coming months as the airlines is dealing with an issue in unprecedented pilot shortage and decrease in seasonal demand. Emirates pilots are quitting to work somewhere else. The airlines stated that they have never faced anything of such level though it had some level of turnover in past.

Airlines do park aircraft during off seasons but Emirates is currently dealing with an issue in unprecedented numbers. Airlines president Tim Clarke referred it as “a tad short on pilots”. But grounding 46 planes would suggest the problem is much worse than that.

It is understood that Emirates will send 36 Boeing 777’s and 10 Airbus A380’s to an airport in Dubai to essentially use it as an airplane parking lot, which would cost them around $65 million in lost revenue. The number shows 18% total fleets number (specifically 25% of their 777 fleet and about 10% of their A380 fleet).

Last month Emirates said that it will park 11 Boeing 777s and 1 Airbus A380 in April, 14 Boeing 777s and six Airbus A380s in May and 11 Boeing 777s and three Airbus A380s in June.

The reasons for shortage of pilots has increased as they work a lot of hour and have to live in Dubai without option to commute as they work two weeks on and then two weeks off although they receive tax free salary and the airlines covers housing and expenses of other pilots. Also there is now a worldwide pilot shortage. 10 years ago pilots couldn’t find jobs at major carriers and pay had been cut significantly. Now pilot pay is as good as it has ever been, and Emirates hasn’t kept up.

Emirates is flying these planes to Dubai World Central Airport as there’s no room at Dubai International airport , so by June the airport is believed to look like Emirates parking lot.

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