x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Etihad Airways a ‘fair employer’ when it comes to cabin crew rules

President James Hogan defends Abu Dhabi carrier's stance on cabin crew having to leave if they fall pregnant.

Etihad has spoken out on its stance on cabin crew rules. Randi Sokoloff / The National
Etihad has spoken out on its stance on cabin crew rules. Randi Sokoloff / The National
Etihad Airways has followed fellow UAE carrier Emirates Airline in defending its cabin crew rules which include female staff having to leave if they fall pregnant inside two years of taking up employment and suitable work on the ground cannot be found.
James Hogan, Etihad’s president and chief executive, speaking at the airline’s Los Angeles route launch, confirmed the company’s stance on female cabin crew.
“We have that ruling. The difference between here and any other airline is that the investment in accommodation, in medical and health, so the social costs are high,” he said.
“At the end of the day we employ people who are on a single contract. So when people join us the terms and conditions are clear. But if people get married or they want to transfer to the ground or their circumstances change we do our best to accommodate them.
“We’re not in Europe. What I’d like to say is that we’re a fair employer. I think if you ask the crew do they enjoy the job and their experience they’d say yes. And people in life they make choices. But everyone joins a company being very clear on the conditions of employment so there is no secret.
Emirates said it cannot guarantee ground work for cabin crew who become pregnant during their first three years, meaning they have to leave. The airline in March described its stance as “generous”.
Qatar Airways meanwhile was labelled the worst for women’s rights among airlines by the International Transport Workers’ Federation earlier this year. All of its cabin crew are forbidden from marrying during the first five years of employment.
lbarnard@thenational.ae
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