Emirates has announced adjustments to its operations in 2019 to minimise the impact of the closure of Dubai International Airport’s southern runway between April 16 and May 30, and to respond to global travel demand trends.
A significant number of Emirates flights will be impacted by the closure, resulting in up to 48 aircraft not being used, with a 25 percent reduction in the overall number of flights operated by the airline during the 45-day period.
Emirates said it will deploy additional flights to several markets in Africa starting in June. The airline will operate a second daily flight starting June 1 to Casablanca, Morocco while three additional flights will be operated every week to Abuja in Nigeria.
The airline will also augment its current flight frequency to the Ghanaian capital, Accra, with four additional flights a week from June 2.
Conakry and Dakar, the capitals of Guinea and Senegal, respectively, will be serviced by one additional linked flight every week starting June 1, Emirates added.
Multiple destinations across Europe will also be served by additional flights during the peak travel season leading up to and lasting through the summer of 2019.
A second daily flight will be deployed to Athens, Greece, between March 31 and October 26 while the Italian capital, Rome, will be served by three daily flights between the same period although the third additional flight will be suspended during the runway closure.
There will be additional flights to Stockholm, the Swedish capital, during July and August, with a double daily service.
Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline, said: “The changes we are implementing to our network schedules in 2019 are in line with this approach, taking into consideration global market dynamics and operational limitations including the maintenance work on Dubai Airport’s southern runway. Through the year, we will continue to keep a close watch on global markets and will maintain our flexibility to optimise the usage of our aircraft assets.”
As part of the strategic partnership between Emirates and flydubai, Emirates will once again begin operating its daily service to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, from March 31 to October 26 but will be reduced to four times a week during the closure.
In order to meet increased seasonal passenger demand, the Airbus A380 aircraft will be introduced to a number of destinations including Boston, United States and Glasgow, Scotland.
Emirates will also adjust its services to South America to optimise fleet utilisation. From June 1, the airline will deploy its newly refurbished two-class Boeing 777-200LR on its daily service from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This service will continue from Rio de Janeiro to the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires four times a week, and on the remaining three days it will operate onwards to Santiago, Chile.
With this change, the airline will suspend its linked flight from Dubai to Santiago via Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo will continue to be served with a daily non-stop Airbus A380 service to and from Dubai.
The airline also said flights EK 418/419 between Bangkok and Sydney will be suspended from June 1. There will be three non-stop flights a day between Sydney and Dubai, and customers wishing to travel between Bangkok and Sydney will have flight choices provided by Emirates’ partner Qantas.
Effective March 31, flights EK 424/425 will be suspended and there will be a once-daily Airbus A380 service non-stop from Dubai to Perth.
During the financial year 2019-2020, Emirates said it will take delivery of six new Airbus A380 aircraft. At the same time, the airline will be renewing its fleet by retiring seven older Boeing 777 aircraft.