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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Emirates Airline says cabin crew policies are ‘generous’

Middle Eastern carriers were criticised for rules on marriage and pregnancy.
Emirates Airline says it costs nearly Dh100,000 to recruit and train each member of cabin crew. JOHANNES EISELE / AFP
Emirates Airline says it costs nearly Dh100,000 to recruit and train each member of cabin crew. JOHANNES EISELE / AFP

Emirates Airline says its policies regarding female cabin crew are “generous” after Middle East carriers were criticised for their rules on marriage and pregnancy.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) last week labelled Qatar Airways “the worst for women’s rights among airlines”, as cabin crew are forbidden from marrying during the first five years of employment

While female Emirates cabin crew have to leave if they become pregnant during their first three years, the company says staff are not being harshly treated.

“I think we are very generous in this respect,” said Boutros Boutros, the head of corporate communications at Emirates Airline.

“It costs nearly Dh100,000 to recruit and train each member of cabin crew. In the first three years the cabin crew start working in economy to gain experience. That’s why we say ok for the first three years you cannot be pregnant because you cannot be out of service and you cannot be working in the air if you are pregnant. We don’t have much work to give them on the ground.”

Cabin crew who have been employed by Emirates for more than three years have the option of taking paid maternity leave.

But for those who become pregnant during their first three years, alternative work cannot be guaranteed, according to Mr Boutros.

“We try to accommodate cabin crew in this position (ground work) but you cannot guarantee it all the time because we have 18,000 of them. It’s not like an airline which employs 500 people. At the end of the day we have a business to run.”

ioxborrow@thenational.ae

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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Updated: March 15, 2014 04:00 AM

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