Emirates Goes For Management Changes To Cope With COVID-19

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Emirates Airlines - Aviatorsbuzz
File photo of an Airbus 380 in Emirates livery. Source: Emirates

Emirates Airline COO announced that the Dubai-based carrier would undertake several rotations to its commercial team in an effort to navigate this ‘challenging period’ surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes place five seasoned Emirati commercial managers in key positions across the Emirates network to support its commercial strategies as the airline responds to shifting market dynamics and challenges posed by the global coronavirus pandemic, the arabianbusiness.com reported.

Reshuffle at Emirates

Last year, Emirates Airlines had shuffled some of the executive roles, with several people taking up new roles at the helm of the airline’s operations. Adel Al Redha took up the position as Chief Operating Officer (COO), Adnan Kazim was appointed as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Sheikh Majid Al Mualla as the new Divisional Senior Vice President of International Affairs.

“As Emirates works through the complexities of this challenging period, we are sharpening our focus further and placing extremely capable leaders with diverse experiences to help drive commercial initiatives that stimulate demand and maximise revenue opportunities and margin performance,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ COO as quoted in local media.

“I am also proud of our UAE nationals, who are well-placed to support the commercial organisation at this critical time, as we continue to build sustained momentum, restore our network foothold, and ramp up our operations to position the airline for a strong recovery,” he continued.

Coping with COVID-19

The commercial management rotations for UAE nationals will take effect on the first day of the new year and include Salem Ghanem Al Marri’s return from Japan to Dubai at the airline’s strategic planning department; Jaber Mohamed taking on the role of country manager Philippines; Saeed Abdulla Miran becoming area manager Hong Kong; Sultan Alriyami as area manager, Taiwan’ and Mohamed Alhammadi becoming manager Bangladesh.

Through the commercial outstation programme, UAE nationals gain experience in support roles, and are eventually groomed for leadership positions at Emirates outstations. The programme is underpinned by role rotations, providing UAE nationals the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and experience to ensure a strong talent pipeline across the Emirates Group’s global businesses.

In addition to the UAE national rotations, several commercial managers in Africa and South East Asia will also be taking on new or enhanced roles.

In November, Emirates Group announced a half-year net loss of AED14.1 billion ($3.8bn), citing the impact of coronavirus for a huge downturn in revenue.

Group revenue was AED13.7bn ($3.7bn) for the first six months of 2020-21, down 74 percent. It was the first loss reported in the company’s history.

The Gulf News quoting a statement from the airline said that changes will come into effect on January 1, 2021.

In addition to the UAE National rotations, several commercial managers in Africa and South East Asia will also be taking on new roles, said the airline.

This includes Satish Sethi – the current country manager Philippines – who will become manager Japan and Afzal Parambil – Emirates’ regional manager West Africa – who will take on the role of regional manager South Africa.

Emirates in the past has said global travel restrictions meant revenue dropped by 75% to $3.2 billion as passenger traffic fell by 95% to 1.5 million in the six months to the end of September.

Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, is also pinning its hopes on vaccines. The Dubai-based carrier reported a loss of $3.4 billion in the first half of the 2020-2021 financial year compared with last year’s $235 million, citing international travel restrictions as the cause.

The airline, which carried 1.5 million passengers from April 1 to Sept. 30, also saw its revenue decline by 75 percent to $3.2 billion compared with $12.9 billion during the same period last year.

Emirates has made various efforts to anticipate the situation. The Jakarta Post reported that Gulf carrier is said to be the first in the industry to cover its passengers’ COVID-19-related medical expenses and quarantine costs for free to boost travel confidence.