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Coronavirus outbreak: Emirates reduces capacity on China routes as demand drops

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on February 3, 2020 | Last updated on February 3, 2020 at 12.13 pm
emirates, etihad, china, coronavirus, airbus a380

Last week, a similar decision had been taken by Etihad on its connecting flights from Beijing.

Dubai's Emirates airline has reduced its capacity on China routes because of low demand amid growing concern about coronavirus.

The airline said it will remove the world's largest passenger aircraft Airbus A380 and instead will deploy Boeing 777 on Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou routes.

"As part of its regular operational review, Emirates will deploy its Boeing 777 aircraft on routes between Dubai and Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, instead of A380s," an Emirates spokesperson said on Monday.

"By utilising 777-300ERs instead of A380s, Emirates will be using jets that cost less to operate and still provide positive yield in the face of demand erosion. Critically, these sorts of adjustments are routine and allow Emirates to perform maintenance checks on its A380s and is also why the airline invested in smaller 787-9s so that it can better match capacity to demand as the airline rejuvenates it's future fleet," said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.

Last week, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways' connecting flight which allowed passengers to travel from Beijing, China to Nagoya, Japan, were temporarily suspended between February 3 to 29, due to low travel demand.

Demand from China has declined due to the coronavirus disease as Beijing has imposed restrictions on the movement of its citizens and also asked them not to travel abroad in order to contain the disease. Hence, many airlines have suspended their operations to China while the foreign governments have put restrictions on people coming from China to protect their citizens.

China's death toll from the coronavirus epidemic soared past 360 on Monday, with deepening global concern about the outbreak and governments closing their borders to people from China.

Emirates said it will be deploying Boeing 777 instead of Airbus 380 on the following Chinese routes:

EK 362 (DXB-CAN) 4-29 February 2020 and EK 363 (CAN-DXB) 5 February -1 March 2020
EK 304 (DXB-PVG) 10-29 February 2020 and EK 305 (PVG-DXB) 11 February -1 March 2020
EK 308 (DXB-PEK) 10-29 February 2020 and EK 309 (PEK-DXB) 11 February -1 March 2020
Flights EK 302/303 between DXB and PVG, and EK 306/307 between DXB and PEK, will continue to be operated by an A380 aircraft.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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