Emirates Airline says it is ready for the busy summer travel peak and plans to operate its entire schedule as planned. The unusual announcement on Thursday followed weeks of dire messages of cancelled flights and continued disruption from other major carriers including British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM and Delta Air Lines.
The Dubai-based carrier is setting its sights on operating 24,000 scheduled passenger flights in July and August and will serve 129 destinations around the world, including 39 European cities – the epicentre of operational woes impacting the aviation industry.
With such a heavy presence in Europe, Emirates might not be able to entirely avoid the disruption gripping the sector, but a spokesperson for the airline said it has been working with ground handling agents at all its outstations to ensure they are “prepared to support smooth passenger movement”.
Along with not having enough staff to physically operate flights, some European airlines have also been forced to draw back their schedules at the behest of airport operators who claim they don’t have the staff power to cope with planned passengers numbers.
The Dutch flag carrier KLM and British Airways have axed flights at their respective hubs to reduce pressure at airport security checkpoints, although Emirates doesn’t have any plans to follow suit.
Instead, Emirates will deploy its flagship double-deck Airbus A380 to 30m destinations including Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Rome, Paris, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Vienna, and Zurich.
On Thursday, Lufthansa announced yet another wave of flight cancellations due to staff shortages at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. The airline intends to slash so-called ‘fourth wave’ flights to European destinations in an attempt to reduce pressure on its operations.
The ‘fourth wave’ are flights that operate late in the day to European destinations that usually have multiple flights per day.
A day before, British Airways announced its own plans to cancel a further 10,300 short-haul flights through to the end of October. Again, the airline is targeting destinations with multiple daily services in an attempt to reduce the impact the cancellations have on customers.
Emirates has gone on a massive recruitment spree over the last few months in an attempt to boost employee numbers after laying off thousands of workers during the pandemic. The airline has faced criticism for promising to hire back laid-off employees but then seemingly ignoring their applications.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.