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Emirates Bullish About Getting its Entire Aircraft Fleet Flying by Year-End

Emirates Bullish About Getting its Entire Aircraft Fleet Flying by Year-End

Emirates expects to have its entire fleet of Boeing 777s and Airbus A380’s flying again by the end of 2021 with the Dubai-based airline confident that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines will herald a resurgence in travel demand and convince governments to ease border restrictions.

The airline currently has a fleet of 150 Boeing 777s including freighters and 117 Airbus A380s. On Wednesday, Emirates’ long-serving president Sir Tim Clark said the airline had already reinstated 137 of its Boeing 777s into service but only 17 A380’s had so far been ungrounded.

Photo Credit: Emirates

Sir Tim, who has delayed retirement to steer the government-owned airline through the Corona crisis, was initially pessimistic about the future of air travel demand and the airline’s flagship A380. In recent months, however, Clark has been far more bullish, citing vaccines as the way out of the crisis for the aviation industry.

“Once the pandemic is over and the global inoculation program has kicked in at pace, then I see the restoration and a recapture of activity curves in all aspects of the global economy at pace, probably in the middle to back end of this year,” Clark told Reuters on Wednesday.

Sir Tim previously described the pandemic as a “black swan” event that could turn the industry on its head. He had also publicly said that the A380 “was over” but has since reasserted his faith in Emirates’ existing business plan and the fact that the A380 will remain the flagship aircraft for years to come.

Other airlines have been quick to drop the quad-engined jet, preferring newer fuel-efficient aircraft like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Emirates has both of these models on order.

Emirates is currently flying to around 120 destinations worldwide but demand is hampered by continuing travel restrictions. On Thursday, Emirates dropped all of its destinations in South Africa citing “operational reasons”.

Sir Tim said the airline “always anticipated a bumpy patch”.

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