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Tag Archives: Flight crew

Not so glamorous Emirates Airline lifestyle

I’ve read this article on Yahoo Lifestyle yesterday and wondered how far can a pursuit for the profit go? And does doing business these days means only flooding the media with stories which promote your desirable image? Does any CEO or business owner today thinks they can resolve their inner organizational and human resources problems with a few positive image articles on the internet? How long before managers figure out that they cannot beat the internet because it gives an equal power to everyone, including those whose voice managers don’t want to hear?

I am not glad to see that EK managers hadn’t learned much about running the long lasting business. They are still trying to mask the problems with the old “high class lifestyle” public discourse, while their company is falling apart from the inside.

Is it that human conscience is limited with its own mortality so much that managers simply don’t care what will happen after they go, or they simply don’t know how to think in future terms? Maybe combination of both, but, in the meantime, while EK is struggling with its limited managers whose only job is, it seems, to drink Costa coffee in the HQ Costa cafe and to make sure that internet gets its daily dose of “Emirates high class lifestyle” articles, this blog will publish not so glamorous stories about the real lifestyle inside Emirates Airline.

I’ve got this story as a comment on my blog and decided to publish it as an article because I had similar health issues while I was working in EK (without health insurance!). When your employer doesn’t care about your health, I guess you have to take care of yourself and the internet can be a good doctor in the world which recognizes only money for its supreme leader.

costa

 

“Dragna, I have been following your blog for about 2 years. I’ve resigned from EK in 2013.

I left because I felt we as crew were not treated fairly, there was no Support system we could rely on.
2012 I was diagnosed with a begnine tumor in my uterus, and after pleading with my manager to let me come home for the operation (because they wanted me to have the surgery in Dubai, and if so, I’m pretty sure I would have died,since I had complication during it), I was allowed one month for surgery and recovery.

Obviously it took more than one month, and while recovering I was stressing out, because I kept seeing flights being rostered, and, just because I hadn’t sent my doctor’s letter on time (I was at the hospital) stating that I was still in hospital and could not return.
There was no one in charge to contact directly (they were closed for Eid) and instead of being relaxed and advancing on my recovery, I was freaking out.

It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life.

Later I found out that the reason that tumor had developed was due to hormonal inbalance caused by lack of proper nutriton, rest and stress.
In conversation with at least 7 female crew, i found out that they too had had simililar problems, and had to have surgery.

My last year at Emirates I was A380 FG1, more than once I had to eat standing and while the service was going on. I would grab a bite everytime I enter the galley and chew before I took the next item of food to the customer. With On Demand service, breaks to eat are nearly impossible.

When I came back home for good, I had medical tests done and I was diagnosed with severe anaemia, not to mention that I fell into deep depression which I’m still battling with.

The good times of my EK experience were completely obscured by the many bad things that happened. Sad to say it.

Anonymous”

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“Flying tired: airline pilots on tough rosters battle fatigue”

I’ve got a kind request to feature this article from the Australian Newspaper “The Sydney Morning Herald”.
I have to say I made a decision to stop blogging almost a year ago, but somehow I keep getting requests to publish EK employees’ stories.

Since I understand that this blog is maybe the only outlet of many to write about injustices and troubles they’ve been through, I never had a heart not to publish a personal experience of someone who has obviously been through a lot of humiliation and stress just because some EK manager wants to show their power or is incompetent and inhumane or directly violates human and labor rights.
So here it is. Another request fulfilled. Hope it will bring some good to all the responsible and good EK employees out there.

Seems that we care about that company and its passengers more than its managers do.

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In some situations, pilots are allowed to nap on the flight deck to alleviate fatigue. Photo: Jim Rice

For passengers, the 5am flight from Brisbane to Sydney during daylight saving time in NSW is hardly a pleasant experience. But spare a thought for the two pilots who have probably woken up about 2:30am to make the 4am sign-on and may then have to make four flights over an 11 to 12-hour period.

“Back-to-back of these is very, very fatiguing,” says a Qantas 737 pilot.

Or consider the late evening flight from Sydney to Perth.

The passengers arrive in Perth after midnight local time, but at Jetstar and Tigerair Australia, the two pilots on board will head straight back to Sydney, arriving just in time to battle peak-hour traffic before they can make it home to rest.

“It is pretty hard to make the case that you are on your A-game at the top of descent [into Sydney] on the return leg,” a Jetstar A320 pilot says.

“There are duties you do at Jetstar that wouldn’t be entertained at Qantas. A low-cost carrier is more intense in terms of the rostering requirements.”

Many industries fatigued

Pilots are hardly the only workers in Australia with exhausting shifts. Truck drivers, miners, doctors, nurses and others also work long shifts with hours that can   disrupt the biological clock.

“By and large, pilots are at the low end of the fatigue scale in terms of other industries,” says Professor Drew Dawson, a sleep and fatigue specialist at CQUniversity Australia. “At the other end, they are at the high end of the consequence scale.”

The crash of a Flydubai 737 at Rostov-on-Don, Russia, last month that killed all 62 passengers and crew on board has reignited discussion of fatigue management within aviation circles at a time when Australia is close to introducing new fatigue regulations.

The accident is still being investigated and whether fatigue was definitely a factor is unknown. But the crash occurred in tough circumstances at 3:50am local time (4:50am Dubai time), after two hours of circling due to bad weather and two aborted landing attempts. Scientific studies show mental alertness can be at its poorest during the “window of circadian low” between 2am and 5am.

Emirates’ tiring schedule

The airline, like fellow Dubai-based carrier Emirates, is known among pilots for having rosters that are within the United Arab Emirates legal limits but nonetheless very tiring.

In the UAE, the maximum flying time is 100 hours per 28 days versus 100 hours per 30 days in Australia. On an annual basis, UAE pilots can fly 1000 hours a year versus 900 a year here.

“The point about regulation is you can have flight-duty time limitations in which you can produce two compliant rosters but one can be extremely friendly and low fatigue risk and one can be extremely high fatigue risk,” says CQUniversity associate professor and sleep expert Matthew Thomas.

He says as a rough guide, research shows if a pilot has less than five hours sleep in the 24 hours before flying, twice as many errors may occur.

Pilot fatigue has been cited as a factor in at least 12 accidents and 64 near misses globally over the past 10 years, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. But more than half of all accidents are caused by pilot errors and it is possible fatigue is understated as a factor in official reporting.

‘We are not machines’

The ATSB report on one of Australia’s worst-ever accidents, the Emirates flight 407 runway overrun and tail strike at Melbourne Airport in 2009, said fatigue was unlikely to have been a factor, but the flight’s captain told media he was sleep-deprived.

The error that caused the EK407 incident was the input of the aircraft’s weight as 100 tonnes lighter than it actually was.

A former Emirates 777 captain said he had once made a similar mistake when flying for the Dubai-based carrier as a result of fatigue, but luckily it had been caught by another pilot before take-off.

“Everything is legal of course,” he said of the Emirates rosters. “But we are not machines.”

Pilots at many airlines are allowed what is called “controlled rest on the flight deck”, which means they can put their head back and nap in their chair for short periods, typically under 40 minutes, as long as the other pilot is retaining a close watch over the flight during the cruise period.

Both asleep

However, the former Emirates captain said pilots were often so tired that one would allow the other to sleep for two to three hours at a time. On occasion, the pilot supposed to be watching the controls would accidentally fall asleep for a few minutes, meaning if a sudden incident occurred mid-air, the reaction times of both would be slowed.

“I have flown with guys that have woken up mid-flight and the other pilot has been asleep mid-flight between Dubai and London,” says a Qantas A380 pilot. “This should not happen as the cabin crew are supposed to call up every 30 minutes but some crews may call them and say do not call as one of the pilots is having a controlled rest.”

For airlines, adding more pilots on sectors or changing rosters could come at a financial cost. The carriers naturally want to maximise their profitability by having their highly paid pilots fly as many hours as possible within the rules. But they are also interested in safety, as serious incidents and crashes cause brand damage and lawsuits they want to avoid.

Another potential problem is that pilot fatigue is probably underreported by the pilots themselves, albeit more so at some carriers than others depending on the company culture.  Reporting fatigue requires the pilot to fill out a form with an explanation and takes longer than ringing in sick.

Open culture call

“What we want is an open reporting culture,” says Australian Federation of Air Pilots executive director Simon Lutton. “They shouldn’t be doing a flight if they are not in a fit state to do it.”

Pilots at major Australian carriers said there was no punishment for reporting fatigue and in some cases it led the airline to take steps to fix the situation, if it was due to a factor such as a noisy lay-over hotel.

Airlines have also changed some rosters over time as a result of pilots reporting fatigue. When Virgin changed the timing of its Sydney-Los Angeles flight by nearly four hours, it first assessed potential fatigue hazards for pilots. Qantas is reviewing the possibility of rostering on a third pilot on the QF2 flight from London to Dubai as a result of feedback.

“My experience with Qantas has been very positive,” a 737 pilot said. “If you need time off and you ask for it, then the company has always been able to arrange that.”

The situation differs in other parts of the world, where there are no unions or Western-style seniority system.

“There are all sorts of ways you can put pressure on pilots,” a Virgin 737 pilot says of situation in the Middle East. “If you don’t like it, all you can really do is leave.”

Fatigue ‘taken seriously’

A current Emirates pilot said reporting fatigue often led to sleep apnoea testing and at least a temporary grounding. The former Emirates captain said his high use of sick days, mostly when fatigued, was noticed by management and delayed his promotion from first officer to captain for months.

An Emirates spokeswoman would not say whether taking reporting illness or fatigue could affect promotion, but said the airline maintained “the highest standards” when considering a promotion to captain.

“Flight fatigue is an issue we take seriously,” she says. “If pilots feel that Emirates has not addressed their concerns, they also have recourse of addressing this with the regulator, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).”

The president of GCAA, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, is also the chairman and chief executive of Emirates and the chairman of Flydubai.

Australia’s new rules

Locally, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in 2013 introduced new rules for pilot fatigue management. They were initially supposed to take effect this month, but the deadline was moved to May 2017 to give airlines more time to develop new systems.

The old fatigue rules defined flight and duty time limitations in a rigid way with no regard to the science behind fatigue, including whether pilots are acclimatised to the time zone. The new rules provide more flexibility for individual airlines, but each fatigue risk management system will require CASA’s approval.

Australian and International Pilots Association president Nathan Safe, whose union represents Qantas pilots, says the new science-based approach to flight-time limitations based on factors including circadian lows was welcome, but the real test will be in how it is implemented and operated.

For the major commercial airlines, the new system could result in less flying rather than more flying in many cases.

Regional Express last year claimed the new rules could cost it more than $4 million a year and might make some routes unviable.

CASA will be taking a much firmer approach to extensions of duty, with airlines required to monitor weather and airspace patterns statistically before calculating duty periods.

“Operators need to be more realistic about the possible delays in the system and ensure that if there are foreseeable delays, they can be incorporated into the maximum allowable duty period and don’t result in an extension,” a CASA spokesman said.

A Qantas 737 pilot says the change is welcome. “It will mean that Qantas will no longer be able to schedule near 12-hour day patterns,” he says.

Since 2007, Virgin has operated a data-driven fatigue risk management. Qantas, Jetstar and Tigerair are still developing their systems ahead of next May’s deadline.

It is unclear whether Jetstar and Tigerair will end the tiring Sydney-Perth-Sydney night shifts under the new system.

Qantas and Virgin say the reason these shifts aren’t done at the main carriers is because they are prohibited in the unionised employment agreements, rather than because of fatigue concerns.

Qantas Group medical director Dr Ian Hosegood said the group’s airlines have robust systems in place to manage fatigue, including a fatigue management committee which includes pilots, safety specialists and crew planners.

“We closely monitor fatigue risk on all shifts, particularly longer and late night shifts,” he says.

For example, Qantas recently changed its rostering after the Tokyo-Brisbane route, which lands at 6:45am in Brisbane after 10 hours of duty. The pilots now start their duties the following day at a later time with a reduced workload of one to two short domestic sectors.

Dr Dawson, the fatigue specialist, says pilots must also bear some responsibility, and try to limit distractions at home and partying on the road to ensure they are rested before flights.

And after more than a decade of studying fatigue in the aviation industry, he says the issue doesn’t particularly worry him when he takes a flight.

“The number of flights that crash is less than one in a million,” Dr Dawson says. “I’ve got more chance being killed on the way to the airport than in an airplane.”

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/flying-tired-airline-pilots-on-tough-rosters-battle-fatigue-20160413-go5fmo.html


“How would you fix the Emirates mess?”

I guess that truth about Emirates Airline management has finally found its way to public. Wall Street Journal has already published an article on Emirates cabin crew’s dissatisfaction and in their newest article (“Pilot Workload at Emirates Under Question”) we can read about Emirates pilots’ discontent.

I will repeat how my intention was never to attract public attention, otherwise I would contact journalists from all over the world. My intention was to get my end of service money and an apology for being maltreated and harassed. I didn’t get any of these things so far. On the contrary, Emirates Airline managers fired a close friend of mine recently just for commenting my blog post on Facebook.

Nevertheless, as I would love to see my former colleagues more satisfied and happy with their work in Emirates Airline (which is one of the reasons why I have published so many of their stories here), in this occasion I am republishing very constructive and informative article from Update from Tom blog written by former Emirates high level manager Mr. Tom Burgess. You can visit his blog here, and this is part of his newest blog post on profit share, bonuses and constructive ways to improve current challenging situation in Emirates Airline.

Let’s assume, even just for a moment, that somebody from EK management will put their arrogance aside and read this smart article carefully and with understanding.

Many threats can be turned into opportunities.  And Emirates certainly has a threat to deal with.  The situation has been deteriorating for some time, but a tipping point was perhaps reached last year.  The company motto, promulgated by the HR department, was simple – ‘If you don’t like it, you can leave’.  In EG-IT this was supplemented by Patrick Naef’s approach of ‘If I don’t like you, you will leave’.  Now people will choose to leave if nothing positive is done.

But this major threat could not come at a better time.  The price of oil hasfallen dramatically, averaging around a third below its expected level throughout the second half of the financial year.  Fuel costs represent about 40% of the airline’s operating costs so there should be an additional profit of around 6% this year.  Even without the reduction in fuel price, Emirates would be making a healthy profit, so this is truly a large windfall.  As always, the discussion about what to do with the profits will already be underway and I hope there is a strong focus on the problem of staff morale.

Of course, an obvious answer is to be appropriately generous with the bonus but, though I said earlier that opportunities often evolve from threats, it can also work the other way.  A single and large pay out to staff will be very well received but, unless people genuinely believe that things are going to change, a healthy bonus could be the perfect trigger for people to move on.

Annual bonuses can also be divisive.  There is a general acceptance that those with larger salaries will receive more cash, but I feel uncomfortable with a system that increases the percentages of bonuses for senior managers.  The argument that the more senior someone is, the more impact s/he can have on the company’s performance, does not wash with me.  That has already been accounted for in the shape of a larger salary and an already larger bonus, without the need for multipliers.

Low salaries (for some) and high staff turnover has been a strategy that has worked well for Emirates.  One cannot fault the basic principle – if you pay enough below what a job is worth and the cost of recruiting does not fill that gap, you appear to make a saving.  But this approach reflects narrow thinking.  I worked for a company that paid in the upper decile of industry salary ranges and were thus able to recruit and retain the best staff.  The efficiencies realised just from having the best staff more than paid for that policy.  There were many other benefits too, including a much slimmer HR department which could focus on the important task of developing careers to the advantage of individuals and the company, rather than wasting time on endless hiring and firing activities.

You generally get what you pay for in life.  This certainly applies to staff and ‘pay’ is not limited to money, it embraces the whole spectrum of how people are treated.  There are clearly people who ‘want something for nothing’ in this world but there is no need to recruit those, or retain them if their attitudes change.  The vast majority of people want to work hard and make valuable contributions and this mindset is significantly strengthened if they are treated with respect and honestly, and paid what they are worth in the market.

Companies, even large ones, should not treat staff as temporary, unless there is a clear business requirement (e.g. one off event) to do so.  If a company treats its staff as permanent and applies a long term approach to the relationship, that attitude will be returned.  Obviously, many of us may not join an organisation with the intention to stay until retirement, but why shouldn’t a company make that assumption when it recruits people?  What could be the downside?

So what is Emirates going to do?  Attention on a number of issues is long overdue and, with a healthy amount of money to play with, there is now the perfect opportunity to act decisively.

– The staff survey needs to published, messages acknowledged and specific actions identified (and delivered, of course).

– The Group is in need of a major restructure.  A lot of the operational areas may work well, but support functions should be pulled together and thoroughly reviewed.  Opportunities for large efficiency gains will appear endless if a detailed review of activities, including a rigorous assessment of the value they add (or don’t add!), is carried out.  I hear of claims from staff such as “I have nothing to do”, “What I do is pointless”, etc.

– HR itself needs more than a review.  It has to position itself to do the job it was always supposed to do, but rarely did.  At least it appears the problem has been acknowledged, but real action is required.

– Management levels need a careful examination.  There cannot be many people in the group (other than those occupying pointless management jobs) who believe that Emirates does not have too many layers of management.  With fewer levels, reporting will have to be more focused and accountability increased.  I have witnessed an entire team of VP’s decline to make any decisions at a meeting, saying “we will have to wait for the boss” (who had been delayed).  And I know of another VP who is described by his team members as “the world’s most efficient email forwarding system”.  I could go on.

– I should not have to write this – treat everyone (all levels, up or down the organisation) with respect and maintain dignity, openness and honesty in all proceedings.

– Phase out the profit share scheme, but make an immediate andunambiguous commitment to increase the salaries of those in real need.  By ‘in real need’ I mean those who are adding genuine value to the day to day operation and to the bottom line of the business.  This will require a newremuneration policy, one that is much more considered than the ‘as little as we can get away with’ approach used to date and one that has staffretention as its cornerstone.  This ongoing commitment will be easily funded by the savings generated by the restructures described above.  The potential for savings should not be underestimated.

I suspect that this update may irritate a few people, but I am only trying to help.  I did write to Sir Tim Clark a while ago offering a few suggestions, even help, but he did not respond.  I gave up writing to Gary Chapman a long time ago because it seems he has no interest in my views.  I do not understand why.  If anyone has a problem with me doing this, I would ask them – “how would you fix the mess?”.

Posted by Tom Burgess at 00:08


Former Emirates purser’s testimony

I’m ex crew batch xxx from 1996 to 2005. I’m so sad to hear how EK has become.

When I first joined , if we were delayed on board with pax, we used to get a notification of a token extra 50dhs as a thank you. We were a person not a number. I felt valued but the demise was already beginning sadly before I left.

I left as a PUR and was happy but prior to leaving , I looked to move into another role, I was just shy of the requirements. I always wondered why, then, someone with far less requirements than me, got the role? No doubt she did a great job by it was interesting that the document I prepared for the interview had elements that were used. Maybe just a coincidence?  However, it is my view that to further your career in EK,you must be in training school. Which is ridiculous as many of the crew are fountains of knowledge and have plenty of experience in other fields. This cliquey training school of who you know, must stop.

I loved my time at EK, rosters of no more than 80-90 hours etc , being treated with respect and as a person, but sadly I hear there is a lot of discontent. And for good reason.  In the good old days we could have visitors t the apts, then an isolated incident in Sahara tower and the 1am rule came in for cabin crew. Engineers , pilots , management and those in al kawakeb of course did not have to abide. The beginning of the punishment of  many for one persons actions began then ….

I consider myself fortunate to have had the glory days and am so sad to hear that EK is going down the plug hole for no reason but ill advised management who could make it the best company if they chose.

Former EK purser's e-mail

Former EK purser’s e-mail


News from Emirates Illuminati website #4

No More Toilet Paper…

Oh dear. We can understand the sanitary napkins and cardboard – but TOILET PAPER? Prepare for some skid marks!

EMIRATES – CIRCULAR

TO :MEYDAN HEIGHTS OCCUPANTS

DATE:19th June 2014

SUBJECT:BATHROOM DRAINS BLOCKAGE

REF. NO. :01/2014

—————————————————————————————

Dear Occupants,

We request all occupants to refrain from disposing toilet paper, sanitary napkins, cardboard core or cloth in the WC of the bathrooms or in the common area toilets.

This is to avoid blockage of toilet drains due to the above reason. Further, other occupants and tenants are affected and inconvenienced due to the leakage caused by the blockage.

If the above is not adhered to, there will be a charge of AED 2500/- payable to Maintenance of the compound, to rectify the blockage of drains in case it is due to the reasons stated above.

We thank you for your co-operation and understanding in the matter.

Facilities Management Department

Screenshot from (in UAE) blocked http://www.emirates-illuminati.org/ page

Screenshot from (in UAE) blocked http://www.emirates-illuminati.org/ page


The real reason why Emirates Airline plans to employ 11.000 new staff

Emirates Airline (EK) is all about marketing and perfect image but if you scratch beneath the surface you can find a lot of mistreatment, sufferings, sad or horror employees’ stories and cruel exploitation of expatriates coming to work with this Airline.

What makes the current EK’s human resources crisis unbearable is the fact that Emirates Airline is above any labour law. It means that managers can and will do whatever they want and nobody can stop them.

When you join this company you will sign a contract. This contract is going to be violated many times (you will work more than you agreed and your benefits will be gradually taken away from you) and there is absolutely no one to protect you, your contract or your rights. I’ve checked this fact myself as I went through the whole labour system in Dubai only to get this response from a Government official: “You can complain but it’s useless”. I even went to His Highness Ahmed Bin Saeed AlMaktoum the Chairman of Emirates Airline couple of times but never actually met him as his staff doesn’t allow visits.

20% of all Emirates cabin crew resigned last year.

20% of all Emirates cabin crew resigned last year.

Up to the last couple of months EK managers felt strong enough to rule their company with fear and punishment knowing that almost nothing of it will go out to public as they have a habit of punishing staff who write negative facts about them online. This is the reason why they have threatened me with a prison as well. Writing this blog has been a huge challenge for me. I get a lot of “please don’t stop writing” e-mails so I continue to write as this blog became one of the few voices of disempowered Emirates Airline employees.

Besides this blog there are two other websites:

1. Update from Tom – a blog of former Senior Vice President  of Emirates Group IT department. The seriousness of this managerial title gives this blog the highest relevance among all of the virtual places to get to know the truth about EK management as it is written by the managerial insider.

2. Emirates Illuminati – a website of a huge group of Emirates employees – organized resistance against managerial oppresion, who are not to be mistaken for a union, since unions are forbidden in UAE. This website is blocked in UAE.

A question about bad working conditions in Emirates Airline on a professional pilots network.

A question about bad working conditions in Emirates Airline on a professional pilots network.

You will be led to believe that Emirates Airline is a modern and multicultural company which treats its employees like gold. You will be told at your trainings that “we are the best in the world, so if we have chosen you to work for us it means you are the best as well”. Once you actually start working you will feel all the incapability and greediness of your managers on your back. You will be ruthlessly treated as a number, forced to be passengers’ and managers’ servant and if you don’t obey in any way you will be bullied, harassed and forced to resign.

It is very hard to describe poisonous and negative atmosphere which is waiting for you once you begin with your work. You will be reported for a small mistake or for no reason at all, back-stabbed, disrespected and humiliated. And if you are young and inexperienced, you are likely to lose your self-confidence and a sense of a personal value.

The point of this masquerade is to keep attracting new people to replace old, resigned, terminated, sick and unmotivated ones. EK management is very aware of the process it’s just that they are lying to the public and instead telling them the truth – that they desperately need 11.000 new staff to replace those who massively resigned in the couple of last months, they will tell you that they are “expanding their business and fleet” and that they are “becoming more powerful and successful”. Besides lying to potential new joiners they are also lying to themselves as the company is seriously shaken from the inside.

But if you read this article, which aims to attract new group of unsuspecting future staff, you can conclude that it reveals more than Emirates Airline managers want to reveal.

The National Article. Emirates Airline employs 11.000 new staff. http://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/hiring-spree-to-boost-emirates-airline-staff

The National Article. Emirates Airline employs 11.000 new staff.
http://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/hiring-spree-to-boost-emirates-airline-staff

For example:

if there are 20 new aircrafts, and one aircraft needs 80 cabin crew for service, Emirates Airline needs only 1600 new cabin crew this year (20×80). So why this article announces around 5500 new cabin crew this year? It’s 3900 crew more than they need (5500-1600)!

There is around 19.000 cabin crew in Emirates Airline currently. 3900 is simply a number of crew that they have lost last year and that they have to replace urgently. In percentages it is 20% of all cabin crew. So, one fifth of cabin crew resigned last year! Does anyone, besides EK managers, really think that 20% of lost cabin crew is a success, especially if we take into consideration that 130 pilots resigned in the past three months?

A simple calculation from PPRUNE member

A simple calculation from PPRUNE member

You can follow up on this story about 11.000 new employees here and you can read more on Emirates working conditions here.

Good luck with your new employment.

____________________________________________


How safe is it to fly with Emirates – testimony of one cabin crew

After many recent plane crashes safe flying has become a regular topic in media. Not without a reason.

This is just a first article in series of articles about illegal and safety endangering practices in Emirates Airline (EK). Since the safety problem in EK is so big, it requires many inputs from cabin crew and pilots, which I am lucky to get on a regular basis so that I can make a full picture of safety deterioration in Emirates in past few years.

According to pilots and cabin crew, flying with Emirates Airline is less safe than it used to be. One could ask why is that? Answer is simple: greed, money and management’s incapability to deal with the growth of the company.

As usual, I have no intention to advise anyone not to work or not to fly with EK. Instead, my intention is to leave a trace about the fact that employees of Emirates Airline were worried about their safety and the safety of the passengers even before any serious accident occurred (and let’s hope it will never occur).

It is very easy to blame the flight crew for errors in flying the plane. Media will always assume that crew was well rested, well paid and motivated to work. Especially when they write about Emirates Airline, because there is a false public image about working conditions in EK.

Well, EK flight crew is exhausted with short layovers, unpaid extra working hours, working more than legal flying hours, lack of leave and vacation, inability to report sick or fatigued without being suspected of lying about it and new questionable procedures of authorities which make easier for all of this to become legal.

These articles have the purpose to warn on flight crew’s exhaustion and incapability to fly the planes safely due to fatigue, lack of motivation and weariness issues.

First input about onboard safety is coming from cabin crew. Service delivery department in Emirates Airline is in chaos right now. Thousands of cabin crew are resigning and there is not enough crew to operate the flights, so some flights are delayed. At the same time, management has no answer on this shortage of staff than to make more pressure and make it harder for crew to report sick, forcing them to fly even if they are fatigued and to make them do couple of turnovers per day or have illegally short layovers. The same thing is happening with EK pilots.

The next two quotations are from persons who sent me their inputs on cabin crew’s opinion on onboard safety.

Concerned email

Concerned email

“I just wanted to tell you about something I heard today…. There was a flight today that departed at 5pm to NY and Cuz of delays caused by bad weather the crew will have 10 hours layover after God knows how many hours flight… And u know that those 10 hours will become 7 or even less Cuz of the time lost with transportation from airport to hotel, etc. I heard from a “friend of a friend” that some are planning to send a complain to  GCAA.
I wish u could investigate more and post it on your blog.
I’m glad I could help with some info.”

I have checked this info with EK cabin crew and this is what I’ve got:

Input from cabin crew about illegal layover.

Input from cabin crew about illegal layover.

“Dear Dragana,

I do know actually. The layover was 15 hrs, whereas in JFK the journey from the airport to the hotel on an normal snow-free day takes approx 1 hour and we get the wake up call the next day 3, 5 hrs before departure. A simple calculation will show, that the crew had 10 hours rest after nearly 15 hour flight (17 hour duty). I will include a screenshot of trip details of the particular flight for you.

Complaining to GCAA makes no sense as we all know that H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoom is the chairman of Emirates Group AND a chairman and board member of GCAA. This flight is most probably “legal”, because the official rest time is over 11 hours.

The only option I see, is to give these pieces of information to international media or to question this legality from FAA. Although the rumor says, EK paid a fine for this action…

I personally find it outrageously irresponsible from EK to endanger and play around with the safety of 500 passengers and 30 crew, only to prove their ability to disrespect and ignore all the advices and forecasts from the US.

On this day some 1,400 commercial flights were canceled, according to FlightAware.com. American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and US Airways were among many airlines that announced winter-weather waivers. Most will allow passengers flying to or through the Northeast to make one itinerary change without paying a change fee. The companies  carrying out these 1’400 flights found the necessary assets in their budgets in order to comply with safe practices in aviation. But EK is willing to possibly loose 530 people,  to operate with totally fatigued crew who cannot be held responsible for any unsafe decision, who’s reaction to possible hazards like fire, smoke or disruptive passenger are at their lowest, just so that they won’t loose money and wouldn’t have to deal with a problem –  where to book these 500 people if all the flight to JFK are always oversold?

Would love to hear managements comment on that!”

Layover duration in the EK system.

Layover duration in the EK system.

It is such a shame that morally corrupted managers managed to damage such a big company so much in such a short period of time. Or as one pilot said it on one website for professional pilots:

“Perhaps someone can provide some examples of situations where pushing things – people or machines – to the absolute limit, had a happy ending?”

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