Thursday, 25 June 2020

A major rethink on strategy to come for Emirates...........A380 returns to service with flights to London and Paris.

The Airbus A380 returning to the Heathrow - Dubai route from 15 July                                              photo Emirates 
The Dubai based Emirates will need to have a major rethink and redefine its strategy to survive the after-effects of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, that has brought the global aviation to its knees the carriers Cheif Operating Officer said on Thursday. 

Emirates is one of the biggest airlines in the world and with its rapid transformation of the last 35 years it has had a stratospheric effect on the global airline industry and raised the bar on inflight service. Without a doubt, the airline has transformed Dubai into a global superhub, where vast numbers of passengers used to take advantage of the rapidly increasing global network from Emirates to change planes and head off somewhere else.  

Adel Ahmad al-Redha the airline's COO told news agency Reuters: “We will need to redefine some of the operating model... because surely what used to work for us in the past is not going to work for us going forward,”   He said the airline would need to put its focus on getting more passengers to visit Dubai whilst also continuing to “connect the world” through the massive superhub-and-spoke model it has relied on for three decades. 

Emirates is planning to reexamine its vast network as well as increasing cooperation with flydubai, Adel Ahmad al-Redha said. The two state airlines already codeshare on a small number of routes and coordinate on network planning, increasing that method could see even tighter links between the two carriers, some analysts envisage the whole flydubai operation being swallowed up by Emirates in a cost-saving measure. 

Redha also said that Emirates will need to consolidate its aircraft fleet, operating smaller aircraft, which it has on order.  The airline has a number of different aircraft types on its current fleet, including the double-decker Airbus A380 and Boeing 777.  "Going forward we cannot sustain long-term operating on that kind of fleet. We need to inject the smaller type"

Photo Dnata
It is now clear that not all of the 115 A380s in the fleet will return to service during this year and according to Redha, Emirates is in talks with Airbus over delaying the delivery of its final 3 aircraft that had been scheduled to arrive this year.  

However, the highly popular A380 will return to operational duty on services to London and Paris from 15 July. These will be the first scheduled flights the type has made since the pandemic forced the airline to temporarily ground its entire passenger fleet back in March.

Redha said: “The A380 remains a popular aircraft amongst our customers and it offers many unique onboard features. We are delighted to bring it back into the skies to serve our customers on flights to London and Paris from 15 July, and we are looking forward to gradually introduce our A380 into more destinations according to the travel demand on specific destinations. The Emirates A380 experience remains unique in the industry, and even though we’ve modified services onboard for the health and safety of our crew and customers, we are confident that our customers would welcome flying again in this quiet, comfortable aircraft.”

In addition, Emirates has announced that it will commence flights to Dhaka (from 24 June), and Munich (from 15 July). These services to Dhaka and Munich will be operated with an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft initially the carrier confirmed this week.

The carrier has already held talks with US manufacturer Boeing over future deliveries of Boeing 777 aircraft and although Redha told Reuters that Emirates hasn't cancelled any aircraft orders yet, insiders say it is only a matter of time before it does. 

Emirates currently offers flights to over 40 cities, with safe and convenient connections to, from, and through its Dubai hub for customers travelling between the Asia Pacific, the Gulf, Europe and the Americas. 

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