Emirates Airline: No announcement made on coronavirus pandemic job cuts

Emirates Airline: No announcement made on coronavirus pandemic job cuts
An Emirates Airline Airbus A380-800 plane takes off from Dubai International Airport last year. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 17 May 2020

Emirates Airline: No announcement made on coronavirus pandemic job cuts

Emirates Airline: No announcement made on coronavirus pandemic job cuts
  • Dubai-based carrier conducting review of 'costs and resourcing'

DUBAI: Emirates Airline said on Sunday that no announcement had been made on job cuts after a report said the group planned to make 30,000 people redundant.

An Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters that no public announcement has been made yet by the company regarding “redundancies at the airline,” but that the company is conducting a review of “costs and resourcing against business projections.”

“Any such decision will be communicated in an appropriate fashion. Like any responsible business would do, our executive team has directed all departments to conduct a thorough review of costs and resourcing against business projections,” the spokeswoman said.

The company was responding to a Bloomberg report quoting unnamed sources that said Emirates was planning to cut its work force by about 30 percent, or 30,000 people.

Airlines around the world have been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Emirates stopped regular passenger flights in March, but last week announce it would resume scheduled passenger flights to nine cities from May 21.

It will also offer connections from its hub in Dubai for travelers moving between the UK and Australia.

Emirates said earlier this month it would raise debt to help it through the pandemic.

The airline, one of the world’s biggest long-haul flight operators, reported a 21 percent rise in profit for its financial year that ended on March 31, but said the pandemic had hit its fourth quarter performance.

*With Reuters


France wants end to US-Europe trade spat

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat
Updated 17 January 2021

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat
  • All eyes on President-elect Biden to resolve disputes between partners

PARIS: The EU and the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden should suspend a trade dispute to give themselves time to find common ground, France’s foreign minister said in remarks published on Sunday.

“The issue that’s poisoning everyone is that of the price escalation and taxes on steel, digital technology and Airbus,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview.

He said he hoped the sides could find a way to settle the dispute. “It may take time, but in the meantime, we can always order a moratorium,” he added.

At the end of December the US moved to boost tariffs on French and German aircraft parts in the Boeing-Airbus subsidy dispute, but the bloc decided to hold off on retaliation for now.

The EU is planning to present a World Trade Organization (WTO) reform proposal in February and is willing to consider reforms to restrain the judicial authority of the WTO’s dispute-settlement body.

The US has for years complained that the WTO Appellate Body makes unjustified new trade rules in its decisions and has blocked the appointment of new judges to stop this, rendering the body inoperable.

The Trump administration, which leaves office on Wednesday, had threatened to impose tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other goods in retaliation for France’s digital services tax, which it said discriminated against US tech firms.

Overturning decades of free trade consensus was a central part of Trump’s “America First” agenda. In 2018, declaring that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he shocked allies by imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from most of the world.

While Trump later dropped tariffs against Australia, Japan, Brazil and South Korea in return for concessions, he kept them in place against more than $7 billion worth of EU metal. The bloc retaliated with tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of US goods, from orange juice and blue jeans to Harley Davidson bikes, and took its case to the WTO.

While Biden promises to be more predictable than Trump, he is not expected to lift the steel tariffs immediately. Even if he wants to, he could run into reluctance from producers in “rust belt” states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania that secured his election win.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of trade think tank ECIPE, said the US was unlikely to award Europe a “free pass,” noting that countries that had offered concessions to have their tariffs lifted could complain if Europe won better treatment.

Resolving future trade disputes could become easier, if Biden reverses Trump policy that paralyzed the WTO by blocking the appointment of judges to its appellate body.