Emirates Plans 70% Of Its Pre-Pandemic Capacity Before 2022

Dubai-based airline Emirates is seeking to hire 6,000 members of operational staff over the next half a year. The airline needs the employees to deal with a faster than anticipated recovery in passenger demand. By the end of the year, Emirates now plans to offer 70% of its pre-pandemic capacity.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Capacity
Emirates is hoping to reach 70% of its pre-pandemic capacity by the end of the year. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Aviation seems to be firmly on the way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, over a year and a half since the peak of the crisis. While some carriers are recovering slightly better than others, most are now on a solid upward trajectory. One of these airlines is the Middle Eastern giant, Emirates.

Eyeing 70% capacity

Emirates hopes that it will have restored 70% of its pre-pandemic capacity by the end of the year. It is a drastically different situation to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw both Emirates and Etihad forced to suspend all passenger flights by the UAE government.

According to data from aviation experts Cirium, Emirates has 3,357,218 seats scheduled for the entirety of October. This is 49% of the 6,801,008 seats scheduled for October 2019. However, the airline has planned the return of the A380 to many routes from when the winter schedule starts on October 31st. From the start of December, it will add even more A380 services, such as a double daily rotation to Germany’s Dusseldorf.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Storage
Emirates was forced to suspend all passenger operations at the height of the pandemic. Photo: Emirates

The increased plan already filed in the schedules gets Emirates a long way to its goal. In December, the airline has 4,488,551 seats scheduled. This is 65% of the 6,888,693 seats that the airline had scheduled in December 2019. Of course, with demand returning faster than expected and December over a month out, it is still possible that additional capacity could be added.

Of course, to add this capacity, the Airbus A380 has to be awoken from its slumber. The airline has restored 90% of its network already. The entire Boeing 777 fleet is already active, meaning that every flight added to the network means another A380 has to come back. As such, the airline intends to have “some 50 of its A380 aircraft” in active service by the end of the year.

Emirates hopes to have wholly restored its capacity by the middle of next year, with the airline’s Chairman and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum commenting,

“We have been prudently restoring our operations in line with the borders re-opening and ease of travel protocols, and with the positive signs in the economic recovery and continuous growth of demand, we are hopeful to be back to where we were pre-pandemic, from mid-2022.”

Emirates, Airbus A380, Capacity
Emirates wants to hire 3,000 new cabin crew members. Photo: Emirates

More staff needed

To facilitate the return to service, Emirates needs more employees. Over the next six months, the airline intends to hire around 6,000 more members of operational staff. This means everything from pilots to airport employees and everything in between. Currently, Emirates is seeking,

  • Cabin Crew – 3,000
  • Airport Services Employees – 500
  • Ground Staff – 700
  • Qualified Pilots – 600
  • Engineering Staff – 1,200

Emirates has listed all of the vacancies on its employment website, including the requirements of each role. Many roles are open to international applications but will require a relation to Dubai.

What do you make of Emirates’ capacity recovery plans? Will you be applying for a role with the airline? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!