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Emirates Faces Cabin Staff Shortage Problem

Emirates Faces Cabin Staff Shortage Problem
Joe Cortez

Flying a fleet consisting only of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft can have downsides, like finding enough staff to operate them. Those inside the company say there’s not enough flight attendants to keep the aircraft running, while executives say there are no such problems for the Dubai-based airline.

Emirates could be facing a major shortage which can keep flights from arriving at their final destination: manpower. Reuters reports the airline may not have enough flight attendants to keep aircraft in the air.

Seven cabin crew members who spoke to the news agency anonymously say keeping enough staff on the airline’s widebody aircraft is a day-to-day challenge. Between a lack of qualified personnel and employees calling in sick, the attendants say they are regularly rescheduled to new assignments at the last minute to keep flights moving.

The airline operates a fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft, requiring multiple attendants to keep them flying. In an effort to increase hiring, Emirates is currently advertising starting wages of around $4260 per month.

But several high-profile events this year have tarnished the glamour of flying on the luxury carrier. In January 2018, cabin workers spoke out to an industry blog about their conditions, claiming that morale is at an all-time low. In March, the same industry blog reported an Emirates’ crewmember death could be connected to employment policies. And in May, the airline told employees they would be reducing the number of attendants in each cabin, while supervisors would no longer fly on two-class aircraft.

While the workers are frustrated by the changes, they made it clear to Reuters that the staff shortage did not create a safety hazard for flyers. The attendants said the airline was still operating within regulations for the number of employees on a flight and maximum working hours per month.

Emirates has not publicly responded to the claims made by employees.

View Comments (4)


  1. southpac

    May 10, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    flight attendants are easy to find or train fast. Finding pilots is the real issue. Tried to charter a widebody recently & although plenty of aircraft around, no pilots. Some airlines are looking at hiring older retired pilots for part time work. Think 65 is compulsory retirement age for pilots now in USA, but not so, in many other parts of the world.

  2. ijgordon

    May 11, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Hmm, a lesson in basic economics for Emirates?

  3. ShortDog

    May 12, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Joe – check your exchange rates. No one pays beginning flight attendants $48k per year.

  4. Tsun

    May 13, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Advertised salary is 4260 AED, which amounts to less than 1200 USD per month, or 14k per year – no wonder they are having difficulties finding recruits.

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