Emirates airline expects return to full capacity by summer 2021

Carrier will be flying to 75 destinations from next month, with ultimate goal of reaching pre-Covid levels of 143

Emirates is gradually reopening routes around the world after the Covid-19-enforced lockdowns.

Dubai-based Emirates airline is expecting to be back to full capacity by the summer of next year, according to the carrier’s chief operating officer Adel al Redha.

“I think we can easily say that by summer 2021, we will be serving 100 percent of our network destinations – that means 143 destinations will be served by summer ’21,” al Redha told CNBC. 

Emirates is gradually reopening routes around the world after the Covid-19-enforced lockdowns and movement restrictions earlier in the year saw the airline’s passenger fleet grounded as part of government measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The carrier, which is currently operating to over 50 percent of its pre-Covid routes, is set to resume passenger flights to Warsaw from next month, by which time its network will have increased to 75 cities across the globe.

“Obviously the frequency of flights per day will depend on demand and some of the restrictions that we will need to unwind from some airports in some countries, but in terms of the airline network planning, by summer ’21 we’ll be covering 143 destinations,” said al Redha.

However, he stressed that while the positive signs of recovery are there, particularly since Dubai reopened to tourists on July 7, the threat of Covid-19 remains real.

Al Redha said: “I wouldn’t say the worst is behind us, but there’s definitely a positive trend. We have noticed the demand from passengers wanting to travel.

“If I compare our performance now with a month ago, we have almost doubled the number of passengers we are carrying on board our aircraft – either transiting or terminating in Dubai – and that is due to the different measures. One of them is obviously the relaxation of entry rules that Dubai has introduced in welcoming tourists; that did help us quite a lot.”

[email protected] Chief Operating Officer Adel al Redha tells @CNBC that the airline aims to serve 100% of its network destinations by summer 2021. pic.twitter.com/qjlnZTLwWx— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) August 20, 2020

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