Emirates Airline responds to COVID-19 business challenges

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Emirates Airline says it's closely monitoring the situation following the COVID-19 outbreak and is taking decisive action across all areas of its business.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Dubai-based carrier said its Crisis Management Centre has been fully active since January, considering the rapid development and the widespread nature of the outbreak.

"The safety and health of our customers and employees is taken very seriously and we are continuously liaising with international and local health organisations to ensure we are following the most up-to-date medical guidelines and directives,” said Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Airline.

"These measures have included providing medical advice to our staff, implementation of practices at the airport to meet specific country travel requirements as well as adjusting our schedule and amending capacity to meet passenger demand across different regions. While we have seen some slowdown in certain markets there has been high demand in other areas."

As an additional measure, the airline has also stepped up aircraft cleaning, and in cases where they are alerted to any suspect or confirmed cases of infectious diseases, they will disinfect all cabins of those aircraft.

Al Redha explained that some countries have imposed travel restrictions on entry for operating crew and passengers, which has resulted in Emirates having to amend its operating schedule by either reducing frequencies or cancelling flights to specific destinations.

"The knock-on effect of these operational changes has resulted in more resources than required in certain areas of the business for our day to day requirements. People are at the heart of the Emirates strategy, and it has always been our aim to protect our workforce and limit the impact to their roles during a global crisis and through tough economic conditions," he added.

"Considering the availability of additional resources and the fact that many employees want to utilise their leave, we have provided our employees the option to avail leave or apply for voluntary unpaid leave for up to one month at a time."

Al Redha has also urged passengers and customers to practise good hand and health hygiene and follow the World Health Organisation's (WHO) guidelines.

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