Air Cargo Management

Emirates suspends most passenger flights but retains cargo operations

Emirates aircraft

Emirates will temporarily suspend most of its passenger operations beginning 25 March but continues to maintain its vital international air cargo links, deploying a fleet of 777 freighters for the transport of essential goods including medical supplies.

Emirati airport services provider dnata has also significantly reduced its operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes temporarily shutting some of dnata’s international offices.

Chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said:

“Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality.”

Following requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers, Emirates says it will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, the US and Canada and territories until further notice, as long as there is continuing demand and borders remain open.

The Emirates Group has implemented a series of measures to contain costs, including a freeze on all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work, a temporary 25 to 50 per cent reduction of basic salary for the majority of Emirates Group employees for three months, and 100 per cent basic salary cut for three months for presidents of Emirates and dnata, Sir Tim Clark and Gary Chapman.


The company has, in the past weeks, implemented several precautionary measures including enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of all of its aircraft departing Dubai and working closely with airports to implement screening.

Crew, airport teams and other frontline employees have been provided with support to stay safe while on duty, including providing hand sanitisers and masks where required.

Sheikh Ahmed said:“With the support and unity that we have seen from our employees, partners, customers, and other stakeholders, I’m confident that Emirates can tackle this challenge and come out stronger.”

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