Hello from Dubai!
As you may have noticed, it’s been pretty quiet over here on The Dubai Diaries. I’m sure I don’t need to mention why, but as you can imagine the aviation industry has been impacted hugely by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am very fortunate to still have a job, unlike many of my friends and colleagues who have sadly been made redundant. However, in comparison to my usual busy rosters, I’ve hardly been flying since March, although slowly things are starting to pick back up a little. That’s not to say more redundancies won’t happen; at this point it seems nobody knows when the airline industry will recover. I can only keep my fingers crossed that I am one of the lucky ones who gets to keep this job that I love so much.
I joined Emirates with the prospect of travelling the world and exploring unknown destinations, and at the moment that’s sadly not possible. We have been instructed to remain in our hotel at all times on layovers, which usually would be the last thing I would do when arriving at a new destination! Nevertheless, I’m happy to see any flight appear on my roster as it means some much needed flying hours.
We get paid a basic salary which was cut by 50% up until October, and flying hours which make up the rest of the salary. With almost no flights, this was quite a drastic pay cut. As more flights return, slowly I’m seeing an increase of flying hours on my roster. Since we stopped all flights in March, I had 4 flights in total between April – August. (Normally I would average 8-10 flights per month!).
The company was offering unpaid leave for up to 4 months at a time, so I chose to take 1 month unpaid leave in September and travel home to stay with parents. Combined with 10 days normal annual leave at the beginning of October, I was also able to visit my sister in Valencia. Our plan had been to visit Colombia, but I suppose we’ll just have to wait a little bit longer for that! It was lovely to be able to spend so much time with my family, as under normal circumstances I would never be able to take 6 weeks off at a time, so for that I am very grateful.
After my leave, I had 3 flights in October – Zurich, Frankfurt and Heathrow. As for my November roster, it’s as follows:
- IAH – Houston, USA
- SYD – Sydney, Australia
- ORD – Chicago, USA
As things stand, these flights are still on my roster, and I just got back from Houston a couple of days ago. Things change so rapidly at the moment – I could have one roster at the beginning of the month and something completely different by the end. Fingers crossed nothing changes this month as I’m super happy to have so many flying hours.
I will do my best to keep updating here, however my normal layovers are no more, and I’m sure nobody is particularly interested in knowing which Netflix series I spend my layovers watching and what I order from room service! If there’s anything you’d like me to write about on here, be sure to leave a comment below. Thanks for sticking with me!