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In an indication that steadily tightening global economic conditions are hitting even the most prominent airlines, Etihad Airways has announced it intends to reduce staff numbers.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier, which has expanded its interests rapidly in recent years, says that a company restructuring will “result in a measured reduction of headcount in some parts of the business.”
A spokesman said the airline was “operating in an increasingly competitive landscape, against a backdrop of weakened global economic conditions. It’s a challenging time.”
Throughout 2016, airlines have reported increasing downward pressure on yields due to increasing capacity in the industry. They have also expressed caution due to a range of macroeconomic and geo-political factors, such as the UK’s impending exit from the European Union and signs of growing neo-protectionism.
According to the Etihad spokesman, remaining competitive “involves an ongoing process of organizational reviews and restructuring in different parts of the business, in order to reduce costs and improve productivity and revenue.”
He declined to say which parts of the business might experience a drop in staff numbers, or how many people would be involved. Some news-agency reports that had mentioned specific figures were “far off the mark,” he commented, adding that most of the headcount reduction would be accounted for by natural attrition, with some positions not being filled as they fell vacant.
Etihad was committed to supporting its staff through the restructuring process “and we aim to maximize redeployment opportunities within the group,” he added.