Emirates is bringing back pilots put on leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with between 70 and 100 returning every month. The airline said it needs more pilots to operate its fleet of A380s as many of its international routes see a return to high traffic.
Around 70-100 pilots returning each month
With Emirates seeing an upward trend on many of its busiest routes, the airline is bringing back pilots that were put on unpaid leave. Emirates has said that “70 to 100” pilots will be coming back each month as the airline ups its A380 schedule.
Adel Ahmed Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer at Emirates, said,
“We are constrained with the number of trainees or the number of training sessions we can do on our simulator. We are very cautious and closely monitoring the performance of these routes.”
Emirates has been reliant on the Boeing 777 while its A380s have taken a back seat. In terms of its team of pilots for the 777, Al Redha claims that Emirates “has almost everybody back there.” According to ch-aviation, the airline has over 130 Boeing 777s in active service, almost all of its available 777 fleet.
With Emirates planning to operate over 30 A380s over the summer, the need for qualified pilots is urgent. Even with over 30 jets back in service, a major proportion of Emirates’ 119-strong A380 fleet is still grounded.
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Summer demand for Emirates
According to Gulf News, Emirates is seeing seat factors of 70% across all of its routes, with some reaching 100%. This surge in demand represents the ideal opportunity to bring the A380 back on certain routes.
Al Redha explains,
“With the summer holidays coming, many people have taken their vacations and they’re going back home for a short period.”
Certain destinations are benefiting from looser international restrictions and more demand. Al Redha has noted routes including Moscow, Thailand and Greece are seeing a surge in demand, as well as Middle-Eastern nations including Jordan and Egypt.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive at Emirates, said,
“We are encouraged by the latest developments as many countries have begun to turn the page and reopen for international visitors, and we are seeing strong signs of pent-up demand wherever restrictions have eased.”
Upcoming schedules for the A380
Emirates has indicated some of its upcoming plans for the A380, including a return to Sydney and Melbourne later this year and to Mauritius in August. The airline plans to fly the A380 to Australia by December this year, although there’s no word on when (and if) a return to Brisbane and Perth is on the cards.
In terms of its July schedule for the A380, Emirates will operate the giant jet on a total of 16 routes for the month. The airline recently added seven destinations served by the A380, including Rome, Los Angeles, Toronto and Munich.
Are you happy to see the A380 gradually returning to the skies? Do you think Emirates will manage to get most of its A380 fleet back into service in due time? Let us know your insights in the comments.