Emirates airline expects its full fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft to be in use by the end of this year, as the deployment of coronavirus vaccines renews confidence in travel.
Emirates President Tim Clark has repeatedly said that a vaccination program would be vital to any recovery of the tourism industry, which saw demand fall in 2020.
Clark, who has delayed his retirement to cope with the crisis, said Wednesday that he did not believe a recent wave of new infections and restrictions in some countries would further impede recovery.
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“Once the pandemic is over and the global inoculation program has started to work at its pace, then I see the restoration and recovery of the activity curves in all aspects of the global economy at its pace, probably by the middle or end of this year,” the airline president said in an interview with Reuters.
Emirates is currently flying 17 of its 115 A380s and 137 of its 160 B777s, with some passenger aircraft operating as cargo planes.
Last week, the airline was flying to about 120 destinations, compared with 157 before the pandemic.
“We’re in a good place with the fleet we have, although not as heavily used as before the pandemic, to start operating again as soon as the doors open in terms of accessibility to markets,” Clark said.
The airline is expected to be profitable again in the year ending March 31, 2023, and in its current state, it does not need further financial assistance from the government.
By Alexander Cornwell; Edited by Kirsten Donovan