Etihad says A380s to remain grounded amid company shake-up

Abu Dhabi-based airline says its 10 superjumbos will remain on the tarmac for the foreseeable future

Etihad’s ten superjumbos will remain on the tarmac for the foreseeable future

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has revealed it will continue to ground its fleet of A380 aircraft as the carrier strives to recover from the economic tailspin caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Etihad announced last week plans to transform into a mid-sized, full-service carrier as well as a new organisational structure, with a view to concentrate on its fleet of wide-body aircraft.

The latest announcement said the company’s 10 A380 aircraft will remain on the tarmac for the foreseeable future.

A spokesperson told Arabian Business: “As Etihad continues to focus on recovery and rebuilding our global network, we will continue to rely on the efficiencies and advantages of our twin engine wide-body aircraft. During this period, Etihad’s ten A380s will remain grounded, unless demand grows and there is sufficient appetite to reassess their viability.”

The state-owned airline, which posted a first-half loss of $758 million, cut thousands of jobs after the pandemic prompted governments to shut their borders and airlines to ground entire fleets, relying only on repatriation flights and cargo operations.

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In September Etihad said it was extending a period of reduced pay for its staff until the end of this year although at a lower rate as it looked to offset the impact of the crisis.

It said salaries would be cut 10 percent and Etihad had reintroduced staff allowances, according to a statement. That compared with an earlier reduction of 25 percent to 50 percent.

Earlier this month, Dubai-based Emirates Airline confirmed a selection of its pilots have been offered unpaid leave for a period of 12 months.

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