Emirates defends no staff bonus, despite huge profit

Dubai airline said $622m profit was not enough to trigger bonus payments to employees
By Courtney Trenwith
Sun 12 May 2013 02:38 PM

Emirates Airline has defended its decision not to award staff their annual bonus for the second consecutive year, claiming the 52 percent increase in profits was insufficient.

The Dubai-based carrier – one of the largest in the world by passenger numbers – made AED3.1bn ($622m) profit during 2012-13, which was one of the best results of any comparable international airline.

At the same time, Emirates Group – of which the airline is a subsidiary - posted a 34 percent increase in profits to $845m.

However, the airline said its profit target was not achieved.

While the increase was significant, the profit was still lower than 2009-10 when the airline reached $703m.

Announcing the 2011-12 results last year, it blamed a skyrocketing fuel bill (up 44.4 percent to $6.6bn) for the 72.1 percent slump in profit to $409m.

The below-par result in 2012-13 means bonuses will not be paid to about 60,000 Emirates’ staff, who are generally paid a low base wage that is topped up with benefits such as a flying allowance for cabin crew, free or subsidised housing and significant ticket discounts.

“The Emirates Group provides staff with a bonus based on the group’s financial performance. A profit target is set each year and needs to be met before bonuses are paid,” an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement provided to Arabian Business.

“Although the Emirates Group posted a AED3.1 billion net profit for the 2012/13 financial year, unfortunately, in the face of very challenging economic conditions, our profit target was not reached.

“Therefore, staff, whom we know continue to work very hard, will not receive a bonus on this occasion. They will, however, continue to enjoy the generous benefits package offered to all staff of the Emirates Group.”

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