Emirates Now Operates Nearly 90% Of Pre-Pandemic Network

Emirates is inching closer towards operating 90% of its pre-pandemic network. The Dubai-based giant is currently flying to 115 destinations and will reach 124 cities by the end of July. The expansion comes as demand for international leisure travel recovery, allowing the airline to make a substantial recovery.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
Emirates is adding a new route and resuming dozens as demand for international leisure travel rebounds. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Back in action

As Emirates emerges from the worst year of aviation, it is raring to go once again. The airline will fly to 124 destinations by August, with the Middle East, Europe, and North America in particular focus this summer. July alone will see flights to Venice, Nice, Lyon, Malta, Orlando, Mexico City, and Phuket resume.

Considering Emirates was grounded for weeks last spring, the summer of 2021 marks a stunning turnaround for the airline. However, it isn’t all good news. Travel bans mean that Emirates’ biggest market of India, and South Asia at large, remain off-limits this summer, a major blow for revenues.

Emirates 777
With Europe rapidly opening up, Emirates is wasting no time in boosting capacity across its network. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

In a statement about the airline’s bold reopening, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said,

“Emirates is committed to keeping Dubai, businesses and communities around the world connected and we are working hard to rebuild our network and secure access to more destinations in partnership with various authorities and stakeholders. 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.”

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A380 back in action

No discussion about Emirates would be complete without mentioning the Airbus A380. Indeed, this summer will see the superjumbo back into action, flying to 15 cities around the globe.

Once again, the A380 will primarily be deployed to cities in the US, Canada, and Europe, as those destinations remain largely open to tourism and attract thousands of passengers. However, three destinations in the Middle East and Guangzhou will also see superjumbos this summer.

Emirates A380
Emirates’ A380 is already back in New York JFK and will be in several more cities soon. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Notably, Emirates has a significant advantage given its home city. Dubai has emerged as a tourist hotspot since last year, allowing travelers to enter with minimal restrictions. While testing is still needed, the city’s control of COVID-19 and rapid vaccine rollout has made it a favorite for this summer. Expect to see many travelers fly directly to Dubai in addition to connecting onwards.

Summer of recovery

While profitable segments such as business travelers remain out of reach for Emirates, this summer will still mark a recovery. The carrier reported a record $5.5 billion loss for 2020, its first in over three decades. Considering the lows of this year, seeing hundreds of thousands of leisure travelers return will be a huge bane. Moreover, with premium cabins still filling up, Emirates could see a sizeable chunk of revenues return too.

What do you think about Emirates’ summer plans? Let us know in the comments!


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