Tag Archives: Recruitment

The glamorous life of Emirates cabin crew: sleeping on the airport floor

This is an e-mail I’ve got a few days ago. I will let you draw the conclusion about safety, EK’s organizational culture and fatigue. I will also let you wonder where the pilot and co-pilot slept that night.



Thank you for your blog. Emiarets is a terrible companyy to work for.
Please, do not display my email address or my name…..
This is a picture of Emirates Airline Crew sleeping on the floor. The JFK airport was closed and the company asked us to leave our hotel and go to the airport anyway and wait on the airbridge until they open the airport…..
The fact was that the airport was closed because of the heavy snow and we had to wait on the floor for several hours, more than 6hours…… We could not even use the
emirates lounge at the jfk airport. They told us to wait at the airbridge.

Failure of recruitment policy in Emirates Airline

Somebody has sent me this news recently, with just one question in the subject of the e-mail “Where is Emirates Airline?”:

Etihad, Fly Dubai named best airlines in the world. 

My answer was: Emirates is where they deserve to be. At the end of the day, every company is where they deserve to be. No doubt in that.

There are many lists made by many stakeholders, individuals or organizations. Many of them are pre-ordered and well paid for. Don’t believe everything you read. Whoever has the money, they will pay for their name to be first in magazines, internet searches and news. Make no mistake, Airline Industry is highly competitive. Too many airlines, too many flights, too expensive fuel. Some airlines have to take care of their employees because laws make them to. Some companies take care of their staff because they know that excellent customer service will give them competitive advantage in long terms, when things in the air start to be too overcrowded. Some of them decided to exploit people by paying them much less then they deserve or by asking much more work than staffs are paid for, in order to keep the planes flying. I will not ask the obvious question “which airlines are going to survive in the end?”, because the obvious answer is “the smartest ones”. It is always smarter to think in long terms, but not everyone is capable for that, especially when greed and false sense of power take over rational thinking.

So, I don’t know if this article was pre-ordered, but this choice is very well reasoned, and there are factual reasons why Emirates Airline is not in this article.

Arabian Business Article

Arabian Business Article

Etihad is on this list for its readiness to make partnerships with other airlines and this is very true. For example, Etihad has its shares in AirSerbia, and they became partners recently. There are no bigger doors to European Union than those, since Serbia is on its fast way to EU and they will pull Etihad with them.

Fly Dubai is known among Emirates Airline staff as a company where all staffs want to escape to. So, after two years of working in EK, staffs who didn’t resign already, massively apply for positions in Fly Dubai. Salary is bigger and it seems that Fly Dubai is really investing in their image by not letting just any scandal to go into public, unlike Emirates Airline.

But this is the thing nobody tells you at your Open or Assessment day in Emirates Airline: if you sign the contract with them, you’re stuck with them and you can’t change your (Middle East airline) employer for at least two years. EK has agreements with Etihad, Fly Dubai and Qatar Airways which forbid those airlines to accept EK staff unless they have worked with EK for minimum two years. This is just another human rights violation as well: you lose your right to choose an employer and you’re stuck with one or you resign. So, those of you who are still choosing which Middle East airline you want to work for, choose carefully as you can’t change it later or it would be very difficult at least. And, if your new employer is interested in you, as soon as they realize that you have worked for Emirates Airline, they will consider you either as “damaged goods” (if they know about awful working conditions inside EK and all the world’s airline insiders know about it) or “unreliable” (because you are leaving such a “good” company and “well paid” job; if they are not familiar with EK’s reality).

Frivolous recruitment policy in Emirates Airline

SVP HRBS's interview for HR portal

SVP HRBS’s interview for an HR portal

When SVP HRBS Sophia Panayiotou‘s contract was terminated recently,I have conducted a little research online and I’ve found some of Ms.Sophia’s interviews for HR magazines and portals. One is particularly interesting as it perfectly illustrates the emptiness of a recruitment policy in EK. If these unimaginative and stereotypical answers, without any concrete and meaningful fact given, were a recruitment policy for decades, then no wonder that EK has an internal disaster with staff’s turnover rate and resignations.

  • The whole interview is like transcribed from some HR Manual, without any understanding for the subject and EK reality.
  • For example, HR management has never tried to “retain” staff in the company. Their unofficial policy is “resign if you’re not happy”.
  • HR management’s “honest” communication with staff occurs only when they need to notify employees that Muslims will work less and be paid more during the Ramadan and that Employee Regulations Manual has been changed (without staff’s consent or signature). It is a one way and autocratic communication.
  • “Competitive salary, personal growth and benefits” are reserved only for managerial positions. All the rest get exploitation and undignified life and working conditions.
  • Surveys are really conducted every year, but their results are never published or presented as a feedback to employees. Ms.Sophia told in the interview that these surveys have high response rates, but staff never got a proof for this as we never got any feedback on our answered survey questions or complaints.
  • Ms. Sophia also said in her interview that all employees have a chance to meet an HR official and to talk with them, but when I sent her a complaint on workplace harassment she never replied nor she ever intervened when a group of staff complained about forced overtime and inhumane shifts. Nor her, nor any other HR manager whose basic role IS to take care of the staff.
  • Internal recruitment is just a phrase which has a meaning only when upgrading staff from grade 4 to grade 5 (which is, basically, the same). People for higher positions are recruited externally and existing staffs are kept on the same positions for years (unless they’ve managed to get wasta/connection inside EK management).
  • Higher salary is given to the people who have western or local passports, which is an outrageous example of a pure discrimination

When you go to Emirates Airline website, you can find a job opening. If you read it closely you will see that this opening was posted in January this year and is STILL OPEN for applications. This is due to huge staff turnover rate and massive staff’s resignations, so Emirates Airline is always short of staff. No company, especially airline company, is that successful to hire people for the SAME positions throughout the hole year.

Another failure of EK recruitment policy is presenting “living and working in Dubai” as a benefit itself. With money that you get as a salary, you can only watch others how they enjoy expensive Dubai and you can rarely travel with discounted plane tickets as you have no money to survive in Dubai and you have no time, since you are constantly working and sleeping.

Presenting “living in Dubai” as a working benefit just proves how lazy and uninterested HR managers are for doing the job they are paid for. This kind of policy has never intended to retain staff and make them happy, but only to use them and throw them back to their home countries when they are too exhausted or sick to work, with no medical insurance compensations and, very often, with no end of service money.

Job opening in Emirates Airline open for almost one year already

Job opening in Emirates Airline open for almost one year already

It turns out that Emirates Airline robes their own employees in order to have money for sponsoring all the football and tennis teams and events where their brand is advertised. 

The failure of recruitment policy in EK lies in the fact that they’ve got better employees than they deserve. Someone would argue that this is not a failure. I would reply that it is a big failure when you fail to keep those people in the company and, moreover, you even manage to make them feel like they have no value whatsoever.