Profit over air safety? Emirates Airlines pilots fear for their lives


Emirates Airlines is known for great service, the largest fleet of Airbus 380 and a global network connecting the world.

There has never been a question of safety since the airline has an almost perfect safety record. FlyDubai, another Dubai based airline recently had a deadly crash and voices become more loud about overworked pilots.

Emirates Airlines, one of the largest carriers in the world and the dominant airline in the Gulf Region based in Dubai, UAE is now also being accused of cheating on pilot schedules by illegally prolonging work hours and intimidating them from reporting feeling sick or tired

All of the pilots from the Dubai-based carrier that reached out to Russian news channel RT by phone or email did so on condition of anonymity. Some said they literally fear for their lives, as people can “disappear” in the UAE.

The article published today in RT says:
While Emirates Airlines ads sport a modern aircraft park and luxurious service, there is allegedly an underlying employment crisis that could lead to disastrous consequences.

One former Emirates pilot told RT that the number one issue to investigate is the airline’s problem with fatigue, as seven pilots at Emirates are forced to do the same amount of work as 10 or 11 pilots at any European airline.

“Obviously, these pilots have to work a lot more and get a lot less time for sleep and for recovery,” he said, pointing to the dangerous consequences of such a routine.

The reason for the overstretch is profit, he argued, saying that the airline is attempting to save money by not hiring as many pilots as are needed to match the workload. “The airline wants to use the pilots to their maximum, because pilots cost money. So they want to save that money and just exploit the pilots.”

Meanwhile, another pilot still working at Emirates said that the number of pilots at the airline has been dwindling. “They are not able to employ enough pilots to make up for the losses… So what is happening is that pilots are working harder, harder and harder. It is becoming worse,” he described.

Read more on Cheating schedules, ‘Intimidation’ tactics and Aviation authority ‘covering up’ reports.\

An Emirates spokesperson told eTurboNews:
“Emirates strictly adheres to the state-approved flight time limitations (FTL) scheme. We never compromise safety and always operate within the legal regulatory requirements with regard to flying times, operating hours, and layover times in between flights for our pilots. We regularly require all pilots to undergo medical assessments, covering both physical and psychological aspects, as part of their medical renewal process. We also have a proactive Fatigue Management and education process. Emirates also encourages open dialogue and has systems in place to facilitate that and in fact we have an open forum for pilots to engage with the management team to voice their concerns.”

In addition, please note that the allegations in the RT interviews are based on anonymous people that we cannot confirm currently work or have worked at the airline.