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Emirates Plans Massive Expansion in the UK After Witnessing Huge Amber List Upsurge in Demand

Emirates Plans Massive Expansion in the UK After Witnessing Huge Amber List Upsurge in Demand

By the end of October, Emirates will serve the United Kingdom with as many as 77 weekly flights to Dubai after the airline witnessed a huge “upsurge” in demand from Britons in desperate need of some winter sun.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was only removed from the UK’s travel ban ‘Red List’ earlier this month and Emirates immediately saw a sharp spike in new bookings. Although Emirates would like the UAE to be classed as a restriction-free Green List, the country remains on the government’s Amber list.

emirates planes parked up at dubai international airport
Karol Ciesluk /

As an Amber rated country, fully vaccinated Britons can travel freely without needing to quarantine at either end but several tests are still required and foreign nationals need to self-isolate for 10-days when flying to the UK. The isolation period can be reduced to five days by taking an additional test.

As well as serving London Heathrow airport with six daily flights (five of which will be operated by the Airbus A380), Emirates will also go double daily with the A380 to Manchester, operate 10 flights per week to Birmingham and operate a daily service to Glasgow.

On Tuesday, the airline also announced the resumption of flights to Newcastle with four weekly services starting October 15.

Emirates considers the UK “one of its most important global markets” and the Red List travel ban had hit the Dubai-based carrier hard. When the restrictions were eased, Emirates could hardly contain its excitement.

A daring ad to celebrate the reopening of travel between the countries saw Emirates put a stunt woman dressed as a member of cabin crew on top of the 829.8 metres tall Burj Khalifa – the tallest skyscraper in the world.

But it’s not just in the UK where Emirates is responding to a far better than expected uptick in demand. On Tuesday, the airline said it had brought plans to introduce extra flights and capacity to destinations across Europe including Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Hamburg, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Munich, Rome and Zurich.

Germany is also faring particularly well for Emirates, with plans to serve the country with as many as 50 flights per week. Flights to and from Dusseldorf and Hamburg will also get an upgrade to the Airbus A380.

So far, Emirates has resumed service to 120 destinations since an almost complete grounding last year. The carrier is now serving around 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic network.

Emirates has started the process of calling back pilots and cabin crew who were laid off last year and could start recruiting new cabin crew to keep up with the rise in demand.

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