Emirates is set to resume a limited number of flights as soon as Monday. Sheikh Ahmed gave the news earlier today via Twitter. The airline was grounded last week when the UAE authorities banned all flights out of the country.
Emirates is the world’s biggest Airbus A380 operator, and is based out of Dubai International Airport. Typically a large part of the airline’s strategy is to cater to transfer traffic. This means a passenger who may be flying from London to Shanghai via Dubai for example. However, the aviation giant had its wings clipped last week by the UAE government, and has been grounded since.
Return to the skies
Emirates is set to return to the skies as soon as Monday. The airline will be able to begin operating a limited number of flights once more, as it has received permission from the United Arab Emirates government.
The return to flying will be gradual as opposed to a full serviced being returned all at once. However, it is unclear exactly which routes the airline will reopen first. The news that the airline would return to the skies was communicated via Twitter by the airline group’s CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He is also the chairman of Dubai Airports and the President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.
Over time, @Emirates looks forward to the gradual resumption of passenger services in line with lifting of travel & operational restrictions, including assurance of health measures to safeguard our people & customers. Their safety & well-being will always be our top priority. 2/2
— HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (@HHAhmedBinSaeed) April 2, 2020
Which aircraft will the airline use?
Emirates is fairly limited in the aircraft it can utilize in order to resume services. Unlike an airline such as Lufthansa which has a mix of short-haul and long-haul aircraft, Emirates just has long-haul aircraft. This is why the airline has the record for the world’s shortest Airbus A380 passenger flight.
There are advantages to both the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 depending on the mission that Emirates needs to achieve.
If Emirates is focused on getting as many people moving as possible, then its high-density Airbus A380s would be the logical choice. However, if the airline is looking to resume services without an expectation of huge demand, then the Boeing 777 may make the obvious choice. Additionally, the airline has kept 777s flying in order to keep freight moving. As such, they are likely to be more readily available. However, It likely also depends on what routes the airline is resuming.
It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Emirates looks at resuming some links between the United Kingdom and Dubai. In fact, 25% of the airline’s capacity is dedicated to the United Kingdom.