Farewell 2021: Emirates Reflects On Its Year Of Rebuilding

2021 has nearly come to an end, and with the new year fast approaching, Emirates has taken the time to look back on the last 12 months. The UAE-based airline notes that it has managed to rebuild well following a significantly challenging period in the market, and it looks forward to continuing the recovery in 2022.

Emirates, Boeing 777, Nigeria
Currently, 33 777s and just under 60 A380s of Emirates in service. Photo: Getty Images

Expansive network

Impressively, according to a company statement, Emirates recovered its network to serve 128 cities. It even launched a new route to Miami in July. Initiatives such as the extension of rebooking waivers and Skywards Miles validity, along with continuing to offer complimentary COVID-19 medical cover for all passengers, have aided the firm’s recovery efforts

Notably, Emirates kicked off the year by introducing its highly-anticipated Premium Economy seats. The airline’s president Sir Tim Clark told Simple Flying earlier this year that this offering is a high priority for the company. As a result of the positive response to this service, the operator recently announced an ambitious retrofitting project of 105 planes with seats in this class.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Return
Emirates has proudly been reopening lounges, with the company this month announcing that 20 additional sites would be welcoming passengers back. Photo: Getty Images

Continuing to build

Altogether, the airline is keen to keep on providing its passengers with a premium experience in this next chapter of aviation. The sensitive market conditions will continue to impact operations but the hopes are still high. Emirates is proud of the overall momentum it has gained.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Scrapped
The airline highlights that its partnerships such as the codeshares it launched with Garuda and TAP Air Portugal as essential tools in the regrowth strategy. Photo: Getty Images

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A strong response

The company’s recovery is symbolized by its summer activity. It served nearly 1.2 million passengers at its Dubai hub over July and August. This figure was nearly triple that of the 402,000 passengers it flew during the same period last year.

Over the summer, nearly all of Emirates’ destinations were being flown to by its Boeing 777s, with only between 30 and 40 destinations seeing the Airbus A380. However, with restrictions easing in several regions heading into fall, the A380 was starting to gear up for some more action.

Despite the A380 being phased out across the globe, the superjumbo will remain a prominent fixture in Emirates’ fleet. Nonetheless, we can expect notable additions in the coming years. Namely, the 777X will be joining the fold. Emirates placed an order for 115 units, and the twinjet will be a force to be reckoned with following its introduction in the middle of this decade. The A350 will also be a force to be reckoned with out of Dubai.

Overall, Emirates will be hoping for even more passenger activity in 2022. It’ll be looking to fill its widebodies on all its routes throughout the year. 2021 undoubtedly progressed on 2020, but there is still a long way to go for consistent recovery across the whole aviation industry.

What are your thoughts about Emirates’ operations in 2021? What do you make of the airline’s prospects next year? Let us know what you think of the carrier and its services in the comment section.