Etihad Airways job cuts set to 'improve productivity'

Etihad Airways PJSC will eliminate jobs across several units. The Abu Dhabi-based company is undertaking “organisational reviews and restructuring” to “reduce costs and improve productivity and revenue,” an Etihad spokesman said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. This will result in “a measured reduction of headcount” in some parts of the business amid an “increasingly competitive landscape” and a weaker global economy, he said. The layoffs started in the last few weeks and will range from about 1,000 to as many as 3,000 jobs, according to people familiar with the plans, who asked not to be identified because the job-cut figure isn’t public. Several dozen people have already left the information-technology department and reductions are also planned in the human resources and commercial sales units, one person said. Cuts will also involve cabin crew and ground staff, another person said. The spokesman for Etihad, the third-largest Gulf carrier behind Emirates and Qatar Airways Ltd., declined to specify the number of layoffs. Etihad’s staffing almost tripled to 20,292 in the past eight years, as its fleet expanded to 122 aircraft from 42. It employs 26,769 when including subsidiaries and employees abroad. Gulf airlines are facing slower growth, with Emirates Group reporting a 64 per cent plunge in first-half profit while Qatar Airways said demand from the oil and gas industry was softening during the oil price drop. Etihad aims to "maximise redeployment opportunities" within the group and ensure transparent information is available to staff, it said in the statement. (Deena Kamel Yousef, Matthew Martin and Richard Weiss/Bloomberg)

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