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Emirates Expecting a Busy Holiday Travel Period Despite Rising Infection Levels

Emirates Expecting a Busy Holiday Travel Period Despite Rising Infection Levels

Emirates Airline is expecting more than 200,000 passengers to pass through its hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB) during the Christmas holiday travel period according to the latest booking figures the airline has seen. The news will come as welcome relief to an industry battered by the Coronavirus pandemic but passenger numbers are still down by around a third compared to last year’s holiday travel period that runs through to December 20.

The busiest day for the airline is expected to be Friday 11 December. Last year, the busiest day fell on the same weekend when 40,000 passengers passed through Dubai airport’s Terminal 3 in a single 24-hour period.

Photo Credit: Emirates

The upbeat assessment of the forthcoming Christmas period is in stark contrast to the likes of American Airlines and United which have both reported a slow down in holiday travel booking figures on the back of rising COVID-19 infections across the United States and a slew of restrictions being imposed by some states.

Dubai lifted the majority of its travel restrictions in July and has managed to keep infection levels under control while welcoming tourists from around the world. In the last few weeks, Emirates has seen a boost in booking figures following a decision by the British government to lift quarantine rules on English travellers returning from the emirate.

In response to the welcome surge in new bookings, Emirates has started to deploy additional Airbus A380 services to several cities across the UK.

Despite the pandemic, Emirates also announced on Tuesday that it would continue a tradition of serving up classic Christmas meals over the festive period onboard flights to select destinations in Europe, the United States and Australia, as well as to New Zealand, Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa.

An early Christmas present for the airline arrived yesterday with the delivery of the first of three brand new Airbus A380’s set to join the Emirates fleet in December. Sir Tim Clark, the airline’s long-serving president remains steadfastly committed to the double-deck plane that other airlines have jettisoned in response to the Corona crisis.

On Monday, Sir Tim said the A380 ‘flagship’ aircraft would remain in the Emirates fleet for at least the next decade although the vast majority remain grounded because of lack of demand.

One of the three new A380’s will also feature a first of its kind for a Middle East carrier Premium Economy cabin – although Emirates is yet to officially unveil the new seat, Sir Tim apparently let slip that the airline had chosen a popular design from German seat manufacturer Recaro that is already used by several international carriers.

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  • It always seems weird that Emirates would take part in any Christmas activities since they are basically a flag carrier for an Islamic country. I guess it’s just about the money like most Christmas activities these days.

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