In an effort to reduce its terrible financial situation – a $1.95 billion loss in 2016 and another massive $1.52 billion loss for 2017 -, Etihad Airways is cutting destinations and is reducing its fleet. Etihad has also invited their pilots to take unpaid leave and fly for its Middle East competitor Emirates Airline.
In an internal communication Captain Majed Al Marzouqi, Vice President Fleet Operations at Etihad Airways, explains that pilots who successfully complete the Emirates selection process will be hired by Emirates Airline for two years. During that period Etihad pilots will receive the salary and full benefits of the Emirates package and they will continue to retain their Etihad seniority.
Since April this year, Etihad Airways is encouraging their pilots to take over one year unpaid leave, it’s the first sign of formal relationship between the two Middle East carriers.