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Qatar Airways to cut jobs

The Gulf airline continues to fly to destinations worldwide while other regional carriers have stopped nearly all of their flights.
A Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 aircraft takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau - RC1784E6CD40

Qatar Airways plans to cut jobs due the losses it is experiencing from the downturn in global travel.

A letter leaked Tuesday purportedly from Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker read, “We currently cannot sustain the current staff numbers and will need to make a substantial number of jobs redundant.”

The letter did not specify how many jobs are to be cut, nor when, but did say management would inform employees of the decisions within weeks. Qatar Airways confirmed there would be job cuts in a statement sent to Al-Monitor.

"The unparalleled impact on our industry has caused significant challenges for all airlines and we must act decisively to protect the future of our business," the statement read. "As a result, Qatar Airways can confirm that the airline will make a number of roles redundant due to the impact of COVID-19."

Qatar Airways plans to rehire dismissed staff when travel returns to normal, according to The Associated Press.

Airlines across the region and world are experiencing massive losses as the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have led to a downturn in global travel. Many regional airlines, including Royal Jordanian, Turkish Airlines and Emirates, have stopped almost all of their flights.

Qatar Airways still continues to fly to 30 destinations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America, however. Qatar offers regular passenger flights where possible in addition to charter flights to return people to their home countries.

In April, Qatar Airways said it would defer some employees’ pay to save costs and enable it to continue to operate.

In more positive news for the Gulf carrier, Qatar Airways announced today that it plans to increase its destinations to 52 by the end of May and 80 by June. Twenty of these destinations are to be in the Middle East and Africa, including Amman, according to a press release.

The airline said restrictions are ever-changing, but that it expects global travel to increase.

Baker touted Qatar Airways’ maintenance of flights during the coronavirus crisis. “We have maintained a flexible and agile network to help take over 1 million people home,” he said in the release.