Tuesday 4 May 2021 11:26 am

Emirates expects to fly 70 per cent of normal capacity by winter

Emirates plans to operate around 70 per cent of its normal capacity this winter thanks to an expected international travel boom as countries ease Covid restrictions and reopen borders.

The world’s biggest long-haul airline has been gradually rebuilding its network of 157 passenger destinations since flights were grounded in March 2020.

It is currently operating to around 120 destinations, though capacity remains limited due to the continued grounding of most of the airline’s Airbus A380 fleet.

“We already have a plan to get back to almost 70 per cent of our capacity to be recovered by winter 2021,” Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Adnan Kazim said today.

Kazim did not disclose its current operating capacity, although he added that the airline had a way to go to reach 70 per cent.

Emirates has mainly been operating flights with its Boeing 777s, however low passenger demand means the planes have mostly carried cargo.

The airline expects to operate up to 40 of its 118 Airbus A380s over the summer, which is more than what is currently operating.

The restoration of capacity largely depends on countries easing Covid restrictions and whether they permit international travel.

Emirates does not have a domestic market that can cushion against international border closures.