“They Deserve It”: Emirates Is Making So Much Money That It’s Giving Workers a Five-Month-Salary as a Gift

  • The airline increased its profits by 71% last year.

  • Its CEO wanted to reward employees for their efforts with a bonus equal to 20 weeks’ salary. This isn’t the first time they've received it.

Emirates' CEO and staff
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These are turbulent times for the labor and financial markets. Companies and employees are in a constant struggle over working remotely and going back to the office. And many businesses are implementing cost-reduction plans that include salary cuts and layoffs.

Amid all this turmoil, the airline Emirates Group has announced a 71% increase in annual profits, raking in about $5 billion. Of this amount, $4.7 billion came from Emirates’ airline division alone, an increase of 63% over the previous year.

According to an internal email obtained by Reuters, this profit surplus has left room for Emirates’ chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum to announce that he will share part of this profit with his entire workforce. Bin Saeed has said that the company will pay its employees a bonus equivalent to five months’ salary (20 weeks).

A Generous Bonus (and Not the First One Workers Have Received)

According to The National, Emirates will pay out the bonus in the next payroll to the 112,406 employees in 84 countries who work for the airline, which has increased its staff by 10% in the past year.

Emirates wants to expand its workforce by hiring thousands crew members, pilots, engineers, customer service agents, and IT personnel to consolidate the airline’s economic recovery after the pandemic. The company hasn’t only recovered its operational capacity but has increased it by 20% in the last two years.

“The business outlook is positive, and we expect customer demand for air transport and travel to remain strong in the coming months,” Emirates’ CEO said in a press release.

The company appears to be outlier in the industry. The Washington Post reported on the precarious employment situation of airline flight crews and the pressure these employees are under from these companies. Emirates, on the other hand, seems to be going in the opposite direction, recognizing (and financially rewarding) its employees’ efforts.

Speaking to the local outlet Khaleej Times, bin Saeed praised the employees for their “heroic efforts for powering our collective ambitions and for achieving them, you deserve every dirham of the 20-week profit share.”

The Dubai outlet included anonymous statements from some employees who said they were pleased with the decision to share the benefits among staff. “I’m very happy. It’s less than last year, but a bonus is a bonus. The company doesn’t have to give it. But they did, and it’s a great amount. I’m very happy about it. Last year’s bonus was 24 weeks’ salary as a reward for setting a new profit record.

Image | Emirates

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