Emirates Is Reportedly Reducing Pilot Staffing on Ultra Long-Haul Routes
In yet another move to accommodate its ongoing pilot shortage, Emirates is reportedly reducing the number of pilots on some of its ultra long-haul routes.
The Dubai-based carrier has cut several routes due to its shortage of pilots, which it says will be fixed by September or October. Now, reports from a pilots' industry forum say that beginning July 1, Emirates will be reducing its pilot team on some ultra long-haul routes from a team of four down to just three.
The routes that will be manned by only three pilots will reportedly be Dubai (DXB) to Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Rio (GIG) and Sao Paulo (GRU).
TPG reached out to Emirates for confirmation, but a spokesperson was not immediately available to comment. The representative said they would investigate the matter.
The alleged move has raised concerns among industry experts who question the ability of pilots to fight fatigue and get adequate rest while flying with reduced crew members on such long routes. In the US, flights longer than 12 hours require a team of four pilots. The duration of the routes that Emirates is said to be operating with three pilots are between 13 and 15 hours long.
Of course, the guidelines in the United Arab Emirates differ from those in the US, and this move would not violate any government regulations in the UAE.
Earlier this month, Emirates reportedly faced a cabin crew shortage as well (which it denied), and the carrier was forced to begin parking a plane a day due to its pilot shortage.
H/T: One Mile at a Time