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Emirates Payrise

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Emirates Payrise

Old 3rd Jul 2019, 12:15
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Room 506
Posts: 68
Emirates Payrise

Quick question.

When was the last time EK gave a proper pay rise? I understand that they "award" the increments based on performance, but when was the last pay rise to compensate for inflation? Inc housing, schooling etc? Just wondering how it now compares to Europe.

Tricia Takanawa is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2019, 16:01
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I think it was circa 2011/12 with the last one being a very small amount. There has been some tinkering with flying pay rates and the hours above which overtime kicks in, although EK took that back by making it a convoluted process if you swap a flight thats in overtime already.

School fees have been adjusted since.

However the company views the step increase as a pay rise, as the pilot body was told by both the head of flight ops and the one of the guys in charge of setting salaries.

Last edited by Rhodes13; 3rd Jul 2019 at 16:15.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 18:06
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: not at home
Posts: 28
Last 2 years not even the contractual 3% steps.
had same school allowance for kids when Ijoined until I left end of last year. And you will have to pay out of your pocket for school.
Hourly payrise, what a joke, is was about 2 AED (yes 2 Dirham!!!) adjustment, but at least they increased the overtime payment threshold...
Inflation much higher than announced by government.
Introduction of 5% VAT, no adjustment to salary for that.
Housing allowance does not exist for new joiners unless you buy, has been the same for the last 6-7 years if i remember correctly.

Do your maths, they squeeze you like a lemon...all in their favour
NightVMC is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2019, 18:23
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 53
The Emirates Pilots remuneration is based off a Salary Scale, a Pay per hour component and possibly a Productivity payment if flying above a threshold of around 88 hours in a 31 day month.

The Salary Scale goes from Step 1 to Step 35.

A new joining FO would come in on Step 1. Approx. AED 25,500 (3.675 AED = 1 USD)

Each step is an increment of 3% above the one below thus Step 35 is approx. AED 69,500

Originally the step was awarded regularly each year as it was an increase for Experience, Seniority and Loyalty. The whole salary scale was published annually with the salary review with an explanation on its application. On attaining command an FO jumped 10 steps up the scale. The expected annual step was given consistently until 2004 when it became discretionary. Since then it has not been given on at least 5 years.

If there was a “salary increase” then the whole scale was moved up by the percentage increase while still maintaining the 3% step. The last significant salary increase was 5% in May 2011.

The salary scale has only been increased by 0.5% since May 2011. As such a first year FO joining today will be getting AED 180 more than one joining in May 2011. Hence Emirates has been steadily eroding salary scale through inflation.

On top of the basic salary pilots get paid for the hours they fly. FOs get AED 63.00 per block hour and Captains AED 78.75 per block hour. Assuming an annualized 80 hours per month this would result in flying pay of AED 5,040 for an FO and AED 6,300 for a captain per month.

In 2011 the flying pay was AED 45 and AED 60 respectively making an 80 hr/mth flying pay of AED 3600 and AED 4,800.

Combining the two, an FO joining in May 2011 would be paid AED 28,800 for an 80 hour month. Today he is paid AED 30,500 for an 80 hour month. This represents and increase of 6% in the last 8 years.

The published UAE inflation rates have been around 2% per annum for the same period (varying from 1% to 4%) This compounds to an approx. 20% increase in cost of living since 2011. Many would argue these figures are conservative. They also ignore a 5% VAT introduced in 2018

If remuneration had kept up with inflation, a First Year FO today should be taking home an additional AED 4,000 per month.

The Productivity Pay is awarded for block hours above 85 in a 30 day month and 88 in a 31 day month. When first introduced, the thresholds were 81 hours and 83.7 hours respectively. Productivity is essentially a considerably higher rate of flying pay above these thresholds. It was introduced to reward pilots for hard work and to force rostering systems to balance rosters.

On inception the Productivity Pay system worked well as it was effectively Pro Rated in months when pilots went on leave. I.e. If half the month was spent on leave then the pilots could expect to fly approximately half the hours in the remainder of the month to achieve the productivity threshold, as would reasonably be expected. (EK pro-rates absolutely everything else)

However through various contortions (too complex to explain) this has been removed. Now a pilot who has half the month on leave will still have to fly 85/88 hours before being paid Productivity.

This facet is exploited to its full extent as the company seeks to maximize the hours in any month a pilot has leave because it essentially it does not have to pay for productivity above the pro-rated threshold. It is not unusual to see rosters containing 7-10 days leave still containing up to 85 hours. No Productivity will be paid. The best way to achieve this is roster compression with ULR.

This dynamic distorts both the Bidding System and the Leave System. ULR flights are not given to some pilots who bid for them as they are awarded to others who have leave in the month in order to maximize their productivity. Likewise any pilot would be insane to bid for short periods of leave in a month as he will still have to fly up to 85/88 hours without any additional pay. In effect he/she has given away the leave. As such most pilots bid for the maximum leave in a month as it leaves less opportunity for roster compression on the remaining days. Because of these dynamics, those who might bid for short leave blocks do not, and the leave system struggles to award longer blocks, resulting in less leave satisfaction or simply forced leave.

In summary this distortion of the Productivity Pay system can be likened to a office worker who goes on leave then is expected to work at night to make up the lost hours, with no additional pay.

I’m often incredulous at the various forums and washups that pilots attend with management during which there are multiple complaints of roster dissatisfaction, leave dissatisfaction and fatigue. Promises are made to try and improve the systems. Of course they are futile because the systems cannot be balanced as long as the Productivity Pay system does not account for leave by pro rating the balance of the month. However the company saves tens of millions of AED per annum by this clawback of leave so its unlikely to change any time soon without a complete overhaul of remuneration.

As remuneration should be proportional to work which in turn is proportional to fatigue, the EK remuneration system is at the root of most of the problems in these areas.

In terms of a wholistic overview of the past 2 decades of EK remuneration the following may be of interest:

In May 1999 a first year FO earned AED 16,000. There was no flying pay and this was the monthly take-home even if on leave. With this he could buy 15.5 Oz of gold ($280)

Today a first year FO will earn around AED 30,500 assuming an 80 hour month. With this he can buy 5.9 Oz of Gold ($1400)

Perhaps that puts it in perspective. However this is not unusual to Emirates or even airlines as a whole. This is the dynamic that over the past few decades has resulted in the ever growing transfer of wealth to the richest and ultimately will lead to the unravelling of society as we know it.
Pixy is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2019, 20:05
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Join Date: Jun 2018
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Well explained, mine was the shorter version, Pixy explained everything very well!

Also don't forget, that EK's medical benefits are getting less and less, meaning more to pay out of your pocket.

BUT,...well, there is no BUT....
NightVMC is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2019, 04:12
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Posts: 79
Pay scale

Not quite sure Pixy mentioned it, but another interesting thing happened somewhere between 2004 and 2014, the pay scale which used to be available for anyone to consult is now secretly kept in a "retribution manual" which is not accessible to the employees.
this adds to the whole transparency....
like the seniority list which just disappeared one day.
Who cares, really?
KippaLippa is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2019, 08:00
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2018
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Years ago when we got a step or pay rise we were sent a letter showing where we were in the rates of pay, so we knew what step we were in and what was next.
That quickly went after people questioned rates of pay compared to other airlines.
Seniority list quickly disappeared when people used it as proof people were leaving!

Emirates hates to be proved wrong especially when it’s own publications are used to prove a point!
Pif Paf is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2019, 11:12
  #8 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NightVMC View Post
Introduction of 5% VAT, no adjustment to salary for that.
So you think you should get a pay rise every time tax goes up?

Yeeessss that's how reality works isn't it?
Chesty Morgan is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2019, 11:42
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Chesty, nobody is suggesting that is how it works. The introduction of VAT represents an additional erosion of our purchasing power. It is a simple fact. Make of it what you wish.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 11:50
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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Good post by Pixy but the 2011 bump can’t be considered a raise because we took a 20.5% cut in 2009 - 17.5% when the threshold went from 78-92 “temporarily” and 3% from the lack of step. In 2010 we received 6% which covered the missed step (but not the back pay of step)

The last actual pay raise was in May 2008 - which was 12%. (14 wk profit share also)

have to agree with his sentiment though - it’s puzzling to be in wash in up and see very little outrage at the annual pay cut we receive due no step coupled with inflation, even more frustrating is the complete lack of understanding by many new hire FOs who do not understand that they are going backwards by saying “...tough year, good news no pay cut though..”

Inflation without step is a pay cut. I’ll leave VAT to someone else.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 07:13
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Well explained Pixy, new joiners should read this and see where they are going. The terms conditions and pay are melting like the proverbial ice cube in the desert sun. For years and years the company has said rosters would become more manageable, both with hours flown and ease of bidding. This HAS NOT happened. If you are lucky you will get one flight you bid for in each of the two top bid months (regardless of seniority), the remaining three months are a mess of critically fatiguing night flights with 1 or 2 days off between them (very occasionally 3) You will fly your full 900hrs a year plus you can also fly well in excess since this doesn’t include augment time, only seat time.

They are keeping up with pilot demand by lowering the threshold for joining and with it the standards, all whilst moaning that there are more and more incidents. Any fool can realise that the two obviously go hand in hand.

The new joiners now rarely have any aspiration to stay long term, it is now an adventure into shiny jets and long haul for a few years before moving on. Gone are the days where you joined with a career in mind. Even the company realises this and tries to tie the new joiners to the company with higher bonds and longer periods required to pay them off, even requiring command bonds now due to the loss of new commanders.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 08:13
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
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In response

Folks – If I may respond. Not to dispute your points but perhaps clarify for those wanting to know how the system works and the history.


The last time the pay scale was published was in 2003 along with the annual pay review, as always. In 2004 we got the pay review but the salary scale was not published with it. At the time they needed and were recruiting DEC’s. However not all DEC’s came in on the same salary. Technically they should have come in on Level 1 and immediately jumped to Level 11 as per policy. Some would not accept this salary so negotiated a higher one. EK simply put them on higher levels to accommodate, thus disrupting the established system. In order to avoid the understandable outrage from Captains who had been in the company as FO’s and upgraded to captains, the system was made opaque.

Pif Paf

Yes the seniority list was effectively scrambled so that individuals could not calculate the attrition rates and query them in various forums. Vague excuses were used, none of them convincing. Attrition was up to 7% earlier this year. Lately it has dropped to about 4.9%. But its all about how you measure it. With creative statistics the company claims it is lower.

It is a fact that the company makes it difficult to do any analysis when it knows the area is problematic. The removal of Duty Time on rosters in 2011 is another example. At this point A330 pilots were doing up to 50% more duty time than other fleets and getting proportionately less rest. Answer: Remove the Duty Time column from the rosters and only publish Block Time. Many excuses made, none with merit as the cabin crew maintained a roster with Duty Time column published for years after. This incidentally was due to the large increase to the productivity threshold in 2009 on the basis of more ULR flying. Someone forgot to take into account that the A330 didn’t do ULR. How those crews managed to avoid a fatigue related accident is a credit to their professionalism. It did knock years off their lives I expect.


The increase in productivity threshold, I would not call a pay cut in the strictest terms. I somewhat glossed over that as it is complex and I wanted to simply stay with the remuneration rather than the increase in rate of work for that remuneration.

However I take your point in that it removed money from the pocket. It resulted in 2 outcomes. Less take home pay as most pilots were worked to the new threshold, so pilots lost thousands in Productivity Pay. The second being a drop in pay per flying hour in total. Simply put they cut our rate of pay by demanding more hours for the same money.

It was a considerable reduction, as you say around 17% more work demanded for the same pay. It was publicized as a temporary measure to deal with the 2009 financial crisis. It was much later marginally reduced to the current 88. I think this was because the fatigue levels with non ULR rosters were alarming.

The Productivity Pay system still remains the underlying problem in all aspects today. Introduced in 1996, it was sensible and fair, and designed to reward those who “went the extra mile”. It was of great benefit to both parties. The company benefitted as the additional hours were about half the cost of what was paid in total for an block hour (cost of pilot per annum divided by 900) and existing pilots could earn more without additional overhead cost. Most importantly it catered for proportional productivity thresholds when pilots took leave (albeit with a marginal benefit to the company)

Again in 2004 this was disingenuously contorted when they removed many aspects of the system but lowered the thresholds claiming it would be “cost neutral”. It may indeed have been cost neutral to them but totally unbalanced the process leading to an unfair system that allowed abuse, the main one being it allowed the company to compress rosters in an effort to make pilots work back their leave for no productivity pay. Despite lowering the threshold of a 31 day month to 78 block hours, we find ourselves today doing 88 block hours before Productivity kicks in.

This of course lead to other problems. Example; limiting days off before and after leave. This was done on the claim of one pilot calling in fatigued after leave and days off. The story may have been true though we don’t know the background, however this was never the reason to limit days off after leave. The truth is that the message was not to expect days off before or after leave because you are unlikely to get them. Your roster will be compressed to make up for the leave you are taking!


The remuneration has failed to keep up with inflation. AIMINGHIGH123 is correct in that this is the same throughout the industry. I believe the trend will continue. A stark warning to anyone seeking to take up the career. A warning to those early in the career to perhaps consider alternative plans unless you want to fly yourself to an early grave. I cant see our cadets keeping this up for the next 40 years.

Technology is largely responsible. Companies can sustain much less experience as the many automated and improved systems allow less experienced crews to perform relatively safely. Essentially automation is already diminishing our rewards for experience we have. I suspect the next step is to vastly reduce the requirements for pilots augmenting in the cruise further leading to effective salary cuts. I don’t see single pilot ops for many years.

However, I do believe that the cost cutting by lowering experience has hidden unforeseen consequences. Ask Boeing how this has worked out for them. Cozy with the regulator and cutting aggressively while claiming the product is as safe. Sound familiar? They simply couldn’t anticipate how it would catch up with them. It always does in this industry.

As for this company… IMHO there will be no satisfaction on issues like rosters, leave and fatigue until our hugely complicated, administratively inefficient and expensive, and eye-wateringly inequitable remuneration system is completely overhauled.

It’s easy to do with intelligence and a good background (which I’m not convinced many managers actually have on this topic) but it would require input from sensible pilots who understand the system and a management that had a genuine interest in rewarding proportionately and curbing the fatigue and inexperience threat that hangs over us and will inevitably manifest in some way.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 16:34
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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PIXY, agree with everything you say - in particular the inevitability of a consequence to this lack of experience joining.

For those interested the past numbers below:

To put it in historical perspective - Pay increases /bonus since 2000.

I have combined step or lack thereof in the increase number and called it an increase for simplicity (yes I know step is not an increase)

I do not have profit share or Edu support allowance numbers from 2000-2007.
2000-2007 numbers were provided by a colleague


Pay raise/profit share/Edu/housing since May 2008
12% 14 wks
0% 0 wks - GF Crisis - OT threshold 78>92
6% 3wks
05/11 (edu fund 32-40/54-60)
8% 12wks
05/13 (edu fund 40-42/60-63)
05/14 (staff travel erosion)
3% 3wks (edu 42-46/63-70)
housing up to16075pm for CAPTs, 14325pm FOs
3% 9wks (edu 46-47.5/70-72.5)
OT thresh 92>88h
3% 5wks (Steps + for Snr Capts, flying pay ^ +,ground pay, sim pay)
0% (The email of "all group pay on hold - no target this year")
3% 5wks (reason for prof share - no target, therefore any profit had to be share per formula)
0% 0

The Group target for 2019/20 is 2.8bn. 2.3bn achieved in 2018/19

fliion is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2019, 23:06
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Take any emirates pax say 100 and have them fly as paxs, NOT WORKING. Fly them long haul with associate fatigue factor for 2 months and ask them if they would feel safe flying emirates.
slack is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2019, 01:08
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Let me quickly stop you there. Frontier airlines here in the U.S. didn't have a payrise since the 2005 bankruptcy. They only voted in a new contract 4 months ago...and that's with a union. Go read threads about Atlas Air; another U.S. outfit with a union and one of the lowest paid pilots in the Nation. They are currently in court regarding a new contract that was amenable back in 2016.

Air Canada has no step increases for the first 5 years for FOs, and the basic there is as good as the guys who ask you if you would like that meal large.
777-200LR is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2019, 02:05
  #16 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 777-200LR View Post
Let me quickly stop you there. Frontier airlines here in the U.S. didn't have a payrise since the 2005 bankruptcy. They only voted in a new contract 4 months ago...and that's with a union. Go read threads about Atlas Air; another U.S. outfit with a union and one of the lowest paid pilots in the Nation. They are currently in court regarding a new contract that was amenable back in 2016.

Air Canada has no step increases for the first 5 years for FOs, and the basic there is as good as the guys who ask you if you would like that meal large.
So no use comparing these. The thing is, the EK package has eroded more significantly than any of the operators you site. Yes crap pay at most of those but always so. EK pilots fly their bags off for a continuously eroding package (like the last 10 years) and zero job protection. Any slip you’re gone, end of story. Add to that the extra stress of packing families across the globe to live in a fake Muslim wonderland and you can not compare the degree of contract erosion. It blows my mind that anyone can give EK even a passing nod of approval now.
Bindair Dundat is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2019, 07:26
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
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EK are supposed to be compensating us for living away from home in a climate that is really only fit for camels. Do not underestimate the costs and stresses of being thousands fo miles away from family and friends for possibly a couple of decades, especially as parents start getting older and more frail. Somewhere along the line Emirates appear to have forgotten that and believe their own PR to the extent they think people would actually rather be here than at home.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 11:44
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by 777-200LR View Post
Let me quickly stop you there. Frontier airlines here in the U.S. didn't have a payrise since the 2005 bankruptcy. They only voted in a new contract 4 months ago...and that's with a union. Go read threads about Atlas Air; another U.S. outfit with a union and one of the lowest paid pilots in the Nation. They are currently in court regarding a new contract that was amenable back in 2016.

Air Canada has no step increases for the first 5 years for FOs, and the basic there is as good as the guys who ask you if you would like that meal large.
Let me quickly stop you there. ‘They voted in a new contract’ VOTED.....I see that going down well in the UAE with EK. ‘and that’s with a union’ ..... a union and rights, I can see a recurrent theme. They have the right to vote and they have a union, oh how I wish we had such a thing!

In EK you have no vote, you have no union, the only right you have is too, as we are often told ‘If you dont like it leave’. The airlines you quote are at home and your rights and options are far far in excess of anything you have in the UAE. You say they are in court disputing a contract, how many times have the terms and conditions been changed in EK with no right to the court and union option. You are comparing Apples to Pears

felixthecat is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2019, 17:14
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Originally Posted by 777-200LR View Post
Let me quickly stop you there. Frontier airlines here in the U.S. didn't have a payrise since the 2005 bankruptcy. They only voted in a new contract 4 months ago...and that's with a union. Go read threads about Atlas Air; another U.S. outfit with a union and one of the lowest paid pilots in the Nation. They are currently in court regarding a new contract that was amenable back in 2016.

Air Canada has no step increases for the first 5 years for FOs, and the basic there is as good as the guys who ask you if you would like that meal large.
You have been misinformed about Air Canada. FOs and RPs are put on flat pay for their first 4 years. Year 1 is $54 500. There are significant step increases each year. Flat pay means everyone is paid the same rate irrespective of their equipment or position. The monthly salary is a 75hr guarantee. Work less and you are still paid for 75hrs. Work more and you are paid a premium. The bidding system works well. There are a significant amount of trips in open time every month for those who want to work more and make extra $. The best part is pilots flying narrow body types cannot be be rostered for more than 16 days a month but can volunteer to work more if they want. I left EK for Air Canada a couple of years ago and have not looked back once...

Last edited by Captain Sham; 10th Jul 2019 at 00:08.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 18:04
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Originally Posted by AIMINGHIGH123 View Post
Don’t bother trying to prove these guys/gals from EK wrong you will lose as you can see.

Still an EK wannabe AIMINGHIGH123?

Despite the plummeting entry standards, they still haven't taken you on yet?
Adam Barfy is offline  

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