Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:47PM
Ethihad airline has laid off an unknown number of its staff amid weakened global economy.
Ethihad airline has laid off an unknown number of its staff amid weakened global economy.

The second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirate has cut jobs as part of a restructuring plan to reduce costs as it faces tough competition and a weakened global economy.

A spokesman for Etihad carrier, owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, said the process had started, but declined to comment on how many jobs would be cut in the plan.

In a statement, the airline which has nearly 27,000 employees said the restructuring plan would result in a "measured reduction of headcount in some parts of the business."

Etihad said the process is aimed at reducing costs and improving productivity and revenue in "an increasingly competitive landscape, against a backdrop of weakened global economic conditions."

Over the past few years, oil-exporting Persian Gulf countries have felt the economic pressure as their revenues nosedived after crude priced tumbled from above $100 a barrel in early 2014.

Etihad was established in 2003. It reported a 41-percent surge in its net profit in 2015, reaching $103 million on the back of rising passenger numbers and cargo volumes. The carrier operates a fleet of 125 planes.

Etihad has managed to expand rapidly and bring minority stakes in carriers around the world by increasing its share of global travel along with larger Persian Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad owns 49 percent of Alitalia, 29 percent of Air Berlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 19.9 percent of Virgin Australia and three percent of Irish carrier Aer Lingus. It also has a 24-percent stake in India's Jet Airways.