Emirates has said that it intends to ramp up flight resumptions, in the hope of “serving 100 per cent” of its pre-COVID international network by mid-2021, according to Emirates chief operating officer Adel Al Redha.
“I think we can easily say by summer 2021, we’ll be serving 100 per cent of our network destinations,” Al Redha told the US media.
The COO said that the airline hoped to resume flights to 143 destinations, while the Emirate website suggests it currently services 70 locations.
This comes despite recent estimates suggesting travel demand will not return to pre-COVID levels until at least 2024.
“Obviously the … frequency of flights per day will depend on the demand and some of the restrictions that will need to unwind from some airports and some countries,” Al Redha added.
He said that Emirates had “doubled the number of passengers” onboard aircraft within the last month alone, and that he anticipated demand to grow following a recent agreement between Israel and the UAE to “normalise” relations and boost business.
“I think the demand will come from … both sides of the regions, and there will be quite a lot of opportunity for trading and businesses between the two cities and the two countries,” he said.
Al Redha also noted, “Before we plan any flight between here and Israel or Tel Aviv, there will be an agreement [that] needs to be put in place and approval between the two cities, but for sure our eye is on that.”
It has been known for a while that Emirates intends to retire part of its Airbus A380 fleet, although the COO said he sees the airline operating the superjumbo until at least 2035.
Emirates currently has 115 A380 aircraft in its fleet.