Find out how much Emirates Airways Cabin Crew earn in my comprehensive salary guide.
From basic salaries to flight hours and tax-free allowances, this article breaks down everything you need to know about Emirates flight attendants’ salaries and benefits, including meal allowances and deductions.
Disclaimer: please note that all salary numbers mentioned in this article are approximate and subject to change.
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Emirates Cabin Crew Salary Broken Down
Cabin Crew at Emirates start off with a yearly salary of AED 122,040 ($33,228 USD). Senior crew can earn up to $48,000 USD per year. Salary is tax-free and covers basic salary, flight hours, and layover payments. Emirates also offers free housing with bills included.
The salary of an Emirates air hostess can be a bit complicated to calculate, so we will review each factor that makes the salary vary.
In a nutshell, your pay is made up of three components:
- a fixed basic salary
- an hourly pay for operated flights
- an overseas meal allowance for when you’re on layover.
Keep in mind you also get free transport to and from the hotel and free hotel stay!
This is probably what you have heard the most often about the salary cabin crew get at Emirates: it’s all tax-free!
Cabin crew normally get a 3-year contract that can be extended after it expires.
With Emirates, the grade (the category) plays a role. The more senior and advanced in your career path you are, the more you’ll earn.
Cabin crew earn a different basic salary and hourly flight hour pay depending on their category.
Let’s chart the Emirates career path and explain it.
Obviously, the needs of the airline and changing circumstances mean that this is only a general guide, but it usually goes something like followed.
Note: the dirham (AED) is the official currency of the United Arab Emirates.
Cabin crew grade II (Economy class)
The starting level is Cabin crew grade II entry level (Economy), regardless of what you were doing before.
➡️ Basic Salary (per month): AED 4,430 ($1,206 USD)
This is a fixed amount that you will get every month as the base pay regardless of if you fly or not, and it increases when you progress to the next grade.
To this, you have to add the hourly pay per flight you operate (work on). The flight pay commences from chocks off to chocks on (the moment the aircraft leaves the gates to the moment the aircraft arrives at the gate upon arrival)
➡️ Per flight hour: AED 63.75 ($17.35 USD)
Cabin crew grade I (Business class)
After a minimum of 1.5 to 3 years, you will be upgraded to Cabin crew grade I (Business).
➡️ Basic Salary: AED 4,560 ($1,241 USD)
➡️ Per flying hour: AED 63.75 ($17.35 USD)
Cabin crew grade I (First class)
After another 1.5 to 3 years, you can get promoted to Cabin crew grade I (First class).
➡️ Basic Salary: AED 4,760 ($1,296 USD)
➡️ Per flight hour: AED 72.5 ($20 USD)
Cabin crew Senior Supervisor (CSV)
The next step is Cabin crew senior Supervisor (CSV), where you will be in charge of either the Economy crew/cabin or Business crew/cabin. There are usually two per flight.
For this position, you’ll need to take leadership training at the aviation college.
➡️ Basic Salary: AED 4,825 ($1,310 USD)
➡️ Per flight hour: AED 84 ($22 USD)
Purser (Cabin Manager)
Pursers (cabin managers) are the ones in charge of the entire passenger cabin and they are the ones who maintain communication with the pilots.
➡️ Basic Salary: AED 5,515 ($1,500 USD)
➡️ Per flight hour: AED 90 ($24 USD)
Each year the basic salary increases by AED 200-300 ($55-80 USD).
You also have food allowances at each destination, plus the hotel and transport included.
Meal allowances are provided in the currency of the country the layover is in.
The higher the cost of living in that particular location, the higher it will be the layover allowance.
- Meal allowance for 24 hours in Paris is $96 USD
- Meal allowance for 24 hours in Johannesburg is $36 USD
- Meal allowance for 24 hours in New York is $130 USD
- Meal allowance for 24 hours in Amsterdam is $83 USD
As said above, you will receive these allowances in the local currencies.
You’ll have only AED 334 ($90 USD) deduction each month during the first 3 years of your contract for any expenses incurred if you leave before 3 years.
But you’ll get that money back once you finish your contract with them.
Also, you’ll also get approximately AED 340 ($82 USD) deducted per month for medical insurance for the first 12 months.
You will receive this money back once you have completed the first 3-year contract.
Examples of Emirates Cabin Crew Salary
So, putting this all together:
Emirates cabin crew earn roughly $2,769 USD per month as cabin crew grade II, $3,037 USD per month as cabin crew grade I and $4,000 USD per month as a purser.
This example is based on:
- Salary from flying 80-100 hours that month
- dding the layover allowances, which let’s say that month would amount to $460 USD (it always depends on how many layovers the cabin crew has).
Here’s how the numbers break down (remember the formula “Basic salary + Per-flight pay + Trip allowances”?):
- Cabin Crew Grade II: 1,206 + (17 x 85h) + 460 = $3,111 USD per month
- Cabin Crew Grade I: 1,185 + (18 x 85h) + 460 = $3,175 USD per month
- Purser: 1,500 + (24 x 85h) + 460 = $4,000 USD per month
Take into account that on average a cabin crew will fly 80 to 100 hours a month, but that can be 115h one month or 60h the next one.
So there is plenty of work available with this company. Work that is moderated by the air hostess getting a minimum of 9 days off a month and 30 days annual leave per year.
How to Maximise Earnings
Since the pay rate is per hour, and meal allowances are payable also, it makes sense to bid for more (and longer) layovers for a bigger salary.
For example: bidding for a New York layover can potentially earn you an extra few hundred dollars on top of your base salary, and that’s not even taking into account the rest of your trips for that month!
Comparing the salaries of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways
Emirates Flight Attendant Benefits
Joining Emirates is the dream of many, especially for their benefits.
Let’s review what they are.
As you probably know, your operating base would be in Dubai, which can be a no-go for many candidates.
So the first thing you should think about if you are interested in joining Emirates is if you want to relocate to a country so different from your own.
However, if you like diversity and want a big change in your life, working for the famous Emirates Airlines is a dream for many reasons.
- Free accommodation in a shared apartment with other flight attendants, usually two or three people
- Transport to work and from the airport is included
- Opportunity to travel the world
- Tax-free salary
- Free training
- Travel allowances
- Housing bills paid by the company – water, electricity, TV, internet
- Even dry cleaning for your uniform is included in designated outlets in Dubai
- 30 days leave per year. And one free annual leave ticket to your origin country. (This ticket can be changed to other destinations after 3 years of service)
- Discounts on flights, hotels, makeup and more
It sounds amazing, right?
But it’s still not for everyone, and that’s why you should be aware of the disadvantages to working for Emirates.
- The most difficult part is that you’ll be far away from home and your family and friends. And I mean, far away.
- You’ll need to adapt to the country and be prepared to work in a multicultural environment and learn about cultural differences. And this is not only dealing with passengers from different nationalities, but it’s also between your colleagues. As there can be over 15 cabin crew of different nationalities on the same flight. This is not always easy.
- You’ll work hard. Some flights are long and arduous. You can get a 7-hour flight to LHR (London Heathrow) with two services and work the whole trip like a dog. Or you can have a 5-hour flight to Nairobi and back with only a 1 or 2-hour turnaround, which is essentially 12 hours of nonstop work. You can have a 24-hour layover after 14 hours flight, but that will actually be only 19 hours after clearing immigration and traveling and all the other bits and pieces that you need to do after landing. That just isn’t long enough to completely recover after such a long haul.
- There are no unions to protect you or to fight for your rights.
- They don’t offer pension schemes, just an “end of service gratuity”, which means that you could work your entire life in Emirates and you won’t have any pension in the UAE or your home country. This is something to seriously consider.
- There is no privacy. Every visitor must log in their name, time in and time out of the apartment for security reasons. All visitors are allowed to stay until 1:00 am If you’d like to have a guest visiting you in Dubai and sleeping in, you will also have to fill in forms to request Emirates authorization.
And, something that is not usual with western airlines, you are not allowed to bring a man to your apartment if you are not married to him (as it’s illegal in the country). But you can always say it’s your cousin visiting, so no worries there. We’ve all got cousins who come to visit us, haven’t we? Two family members can stay at the same time, twice a year, for a maximum of 30 days.
- Some of the apartments are located in the middle of nowhere, or actually in the desert, so if you don’t have a car, it really is a downer. They are mostly very nice, high-quality apartments, but some of them are older and do need refurbishment. But you can always ask to change apartments after your 6 months probationary period if you’re not happy.
- It can feel like you never leave your work environment due to eating, sleeping, and working in work provided facilities. This too is something to be aware of.
Note: You can also choose to live out and receive an accommodation allowance of $13,612 per year to cover your flat, apartment expenses, transportation, and bills.