Monday, 1 June 2020

It could take four years for Emirates to resume flying to its entire network

Photo Emirates
According to the outgoing Emirates President Tim Clark, it could take up to four years for the Dubai based carrier to resume flying to its entire pre-COVID entire network.

Clark warned on Monday that it may take a long while for the airline to rebuild the damage to its network the coronavirus pandemic has caused. "I think probably by the year 2022/23, 2023/24 we will see things coming back to some degree of normality and Emirates will be operating its network as it was and hopefully as successfully as it was,"

Prior to the pandemic, Emirates had a route network spanning to more than 157 destinations in 83 countries before the pandemic, has warned that the current period will be the most difficult in its entire 35-year history and has already had to make some staff redundant.  due to the impact of the pandemic.

In a web interview with  John Strickland, Tim Clark predicted the wider aviation industry could start to see a recovery by the summer of next year if a widely available vaccine proved to be successful and developed by early 2021.

"We will start to see an uptick, quite a large uptick in demand for travel," he said, adding that, Emirates would be able to get it's fleet ready within 48 hours if it had to. He also predicted that demand would most likely continue to build into 2023 and 2024 unless, of course, there was another major trauma to the global economy. 

Another word of caution came regarding social physical distancing on aircraft was not an economically and environmentally practical solution because it would mean aircraft would be flying around half empty.
Photo Emirates

The airline has also recently introduced a number of special measures for both employee and customer to help make every step of the travel journey as safe as possible. Emirates has introduced complimentary hygiene kits to be given to every passenger upon check-in at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai. These kits comprise of masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser. The hygiene kits supplement a slew of additional measures already introduced to keep customers safe.

Photo Emirates
Also at Dubai airport, there are thermal scanners at various areas monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travellers maintain the necessary distance at check-in, immigration, boarding and transfer areas. There are also some protective barriers at each check-in desk and immigration counter.

Customers travelling through Dubai International Airport and transferring onto another flight will go through thermal screening upon disembarkation. Transfer desks at the airport have also been installed with protective barriers as a precautionary measure. Airport staff, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) will direct customers from a safe distance for extra assistance. Customers will be given an additional hygiene kit at the gate before boarding their connecting flight.

Emirates now use a different boarding sequence, which staggers passengers getting on board, so now it is done by row, from the last row to the first, in small numbers. The waiting area has also been modified to ensure all customers observe social distancing. Emirates boarding agents, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE), will facilitate the boarding sequence. The boarding gates are deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight.

Photo Emirates
All cabin crew on board will be fully kitted out in PPEs. To uphold the highest standards of safety and hygiene, Emirates has added a cabin service assistant (CSA) to the crew complement on flights over 1.5 hours. The CSAs will ensure lavatories are cleaned at frequent intervals of every 45 mins. Each lavatory has been equipped with sanitising soap and hand washing instructions.

To minimise the risk of infection by touch, magazines and print reading material will not be available during this time. In premium classes, single-use menus and wine lists will be provided to passengers. Comfort items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, headphones and toys will be hygienically sealed. Emirates will resume its service with hot meals, using high quality, cutlery and crockery, sterilised before each use.

Cabin baggage has to be checked-in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board. Customers are reminded to bring pens to fill out Health Declaration Forms required for some destinations.

Emirates’ modern aircraft cabins have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97% of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens and germs from cabin air for a healthier and safer on-board environment. After its journey and on landing in Dubai, each aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.

Emirates crew

To safeguard its employees, Emirates’ flight and cabin crew are provided with cars for pick up and drop off at their home at the beginning and end of their duty. Operating crew check-in for their rostered flights in a dedicated crew airport facility before being transported to the aircraft. Layovers in destination cities have been reduced where possible and on long-haul flights, where layovers are necessary, the crew are put up in individual rooms in hotels. On return to Dubai, where all Emirates cabin crew are based, COVID-19 tests are done on all crew. Every crew member has been mandated a 14-day quarantine in their homes after every flight unless they are on duty.

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