Travel from Dubai: Some Emirates flights operating at 100% capacity

Waheed Abbas /Dubai
waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 15, 2021
File photo

The Dubai-based airline is now operating close to 120 destinations.

Travel from Dubai is picking as many residents and Emiratis have not travelled for a long time, a senior Emirates airline official said.

“We are seeing a good demand today, almost double of what we saw in earlier months. People are travelling to home countries as they couldn’t fly earlier due to lockdowns and stringent requirements for quarantines and PCR tests. People also want to travel to new destinations for breaks. We are operating at 90 and 100 per cent seat factor on some routes and an average of 70-75 per cent to all the destinations that we are serving now,” said Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates airline.

“This is a clear indication of recovery of the aviation sector. We have always said that aviation will be one of the last to recover, especially regions that are highly dependent on international markets. They will be lagging because of the various protocols that are imposed by different countries,” Al Redha said during a virtual media briefing on Thursday.

Emirates is expecting high passenger volumes to pass through Terminal 3 at Dubai International this weekend (July 16-17), as traveller numbers is expected to reach its highest levels since the pandemic began.

The carrier said with added safety measures and Covid-19 travel requirement checks in place, travellers will not have to encounter longer than expected waiting times at Emirates check-in counters.

Al Redha has urged travellers to arrive earlier than normal time, especially during specific occasions like Eid holidays.

He also advised passengers to benefit from the self-check-in facilities and also enroll for biometric machines for smoother and quicker check-ins.

Passengers should regularly check travel protocols to their travel destinations to avoid any inconvenience, he said.

Top destinations

Emirates is now operating close to 120 destinations, which is almost the same as the pre-Covid-19 level.

“We have seen high demand on most of the flights that we are operating. Many places in Europe and the Middle East region are seeing higher demand, driven by various factors. Phuket, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Italy are seeing high demand while Malta and France are picking up. Some of the Middle East and European destinations are seeing up to 90 and 100 per cent occupancy,” he added.

He added that the aviation sectors of US, Europe and some other countries will be recovering faster as they are not dependent on international traffic.

Al Redha noted that the European passenger traffic started to pick up after pandemic protocols were revised. The move encouraged more people to book flights.

He revealed that now there are more short-term bookings. “Earlier, people used to book six to nine months in advance but now we are seeing booking two to three months prior to travel dates.”

Bringing back pilots

Al Redha revealed that as the traffic picks up, Emirates has started bringing back pilots who were on unpaid leave, and involving them in various training sessions to start flying again.

“We are working to bring back 70 to 100 pilots to support operational needs. We are cautious and closely monitoring the performance of the routes. If there is no big changes in protocols and no shutting down of any country, I think we will continue to grow. I don’t think we will be going backwards. We might see some ups and downs in some countries but overall we see recovery and demand growing month-on-month going forward,” he added.


Waheed Abbas

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