Emirates Adds Flights in Bid to Recover Long-Haul Crown

Emirates will ramp up services to Europe and some other regions as the world’s largest long-haul airline prior to the coronavirus pandemic takes a less cautious stance on restoring services.
Dubai-based Emirates has brought forward plans to boost capacity to more than 10 locations across Europe and will offer 50 flights a week to Germany alone by the end of next month. Dusseldorf and Hamburg will regain operations with Airbus SE A380 superjumbos.

While travel restrictions have been loosened in Europe, state-owned Emirates is ramping up flights even as a surge in the delta variant of Covid-19 leads to a plateauing of U.S. demand and new lockdowns in Asia, which the carrier helps link with western cities via its Middle Eastern hub. Close to 90% of the pre-pandemic network has now been restored, albeit with lower frequencies.

The expansion comes after Emirates took a more conservative approach at the start of the pandemic, leading Gulf rival Qatar Airways to edge ahead on trans-continental routes and establish itself as the world’s No. 1 cargo carrier.

Emirates will add frequencies to cities such as Barcelona, Rome and Dublin and restore services to Newcastle upon Tyne, England, taking the number of weekly U.K. flights to 77 by the end of October.

Other new operations will include the resumption of flights between the Maldives and Sri Lanka and Dubai, and from Oman to Sao Paulo.

Qatar Airways also plans to bring back more routes and sees “solid passenger demand for services in both Europe and the U.S.,” the Doha-based carrier said in an email.