MIAMI – Emirates Airlines (EK) says it expects to offer 70% of its pre-COVID-19 capacity by the end of the year, the carrier indicated in a press release.
Additionally, EK’s partnership with LCC Flydubai (FZ) will enable the former to offer 168 destinations by the end of the month. The tandem news was posted by EK at the conclusion of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
At the ATM, held in Dubai from May 16 to May 19, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Said Al-Maktoum, EK Group Chairman and CEO, confirmed his forecast from earlier this month, “Emirates Airlines is on track to offer 70% of its pre-health crisis capacity by the winter season, betting on the Expo 2020 in Dubai on October, vaccination campaigns and the easing of restrictions on international travel.”"Summer is coming. Many people who have stopped traveling for a year and a half want to travel and return to some normality." H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Said Al-Maktoum, Emirates Group Chairman and CEO Click To Tweet
A Promising Codeshare Reactivation
For this summer, then, EK is to take full advantage of its strategic partnership with FZ. Nearly 500,000 passengers have already taken advantage of the reactivation of the codeshare agreement since last September. Starting Friday, May 21, EK customers will “enjoy an optimized travel experience with more flights and connections” to 22 FZ destinations, departing from Dubai International Airport’s (DBX) Terminal 3.”
These destinations include Basra (BSR), Belgrade (BEG), Bucharest (OTP), Kyiv (IEV), Odesa (ODS), Prague (PRG), Salalah (SLL), Sofia (SOF), and Zanzibar (ZNZ), among others, while the codeshare agreement includes Kabul (KBL), Kathmandu (KTM), IEV, Maldives (MLE), and ZNZ.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum commented on said codeshare by saying, “The Emirates and flydubai partnership continues to grow steadily to offer travelers even better connectivity to Dubai, and through Dubai to an extensive global network.”
According to the National, during the ATM, EK Group CEO also evoked the fleet aspect, mentioning the order of 115 Boeing 777X without specifying the distribution between the 777-9 and the 777-8, whose deliveries are no longer expected before the end of 2023 at the earliest.
The possibility of swapping Boeing 777Xs for 787 Dreamliners was said to be still on the table, while the Airbus A380 will be operated more on the UK routes.
The Group CEO also mentioned that the conversion of part of the order into Boeing 787 Dreamliner was always a possibility “because we are constantly evaluating the needs of our fleet; we are re-evaluating the plans in terms of fleet requirements, which should really be postponed, because we have to deal with a market that changes from front to back, it makes two steps forward and one step back or two or three.”
Featured image: Emirates Airbus A380 A6-EOA in Expo 2020 Livery – Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways