DUBAI (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is asking cabin crew staff to take paid leave, according to an internal email seen by Reuters, as the rapidly spreading coronavirus dents global travel demand.
However, a spokesman for Etihad denied such an email had been sent.
Etihad has canceled most flights to mainland China because of the virus, and airlines around the world have warned of the toll it is having on operations.
The company is asking cabin crew to take paid leave between April 6 and May 5, according to the email, which does not mention the virus. It did not give a reason for the proposal.
“This is a great opportunity to take some time out or rest, relax and celebrate with family and friends. Leave slots will be available … in blocks of six, 12, or 18 days,” the email says.
Priority will be given to those who submit longer date requests, it says.
(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Jan Harvey)