Amid recent cuts to flight frequencies around the world, Emirates is making another big change to its flights—the airline will be cutting back on the amount of staff working onboard its planes as cabin crew, potentially compromising service quality and staff rest periods.
Emirates recently sent out an internal memo from Thomas Ney, its new vice president of service delivery, announcing changes to cabin crew numbers on each flight. Paddle Your Own Kanoo reported that the memo was released to the frustration of many crewmembers, who feel that the changes will not only jeopardize the quality of service provided in each cabin, but also the health of the employees themselves as they will not have adequate time to rest on the airline’s longest flights.
Among the changes announced, first-class crew on some ultra-long flights will decrease to three flight attendants instead of four. Economy class on shorter flights will lose one crewmember, and two-class flights will no longer have an onboard supervisor.
Some crew are furious, and let their frustrations out on an online internal message board, noting that it will be too difficult to provide customers with a quality service if Emirates lowers the amount of in-cabin staff. They’re also concerned about the ability to rest on flights; Emirates already has the lowest onboard rest periods for crew than competitors, and a reduction in staff will cut into that time even more.
Ney told staff, though, that this is an in-process decision. He says the airline will be “reviewing our service routines across all cabins to refine and streamline our product offering,” Kanoo reported, and that more detailed information will be available after the review.