Emirates plans to ramp up its operations and increase the number of destinations on its summer network, as it eyes a spike in the air travel demand for the summer season 2021. The airline has decided to expand its widebody network and reactivate 30 Airbus A380s to cover the expected demand for international air travel.

Gears up for strong demand for leisure travel 

On June 18, 2021, the airline announced a network expansion plan which includes a goal to serve 124 destinations from July 2021, while gearing up for 90% of its pre-pandemic network with 880 weekly services. In comparison, as of June 2021, the company operates to 115 destinations. 

In order to serve the anticipated strong demand, from July 1 the company plans to resume operations to Venice, Italy. From July 2, it will restart services to Phuket (HKT), Nice (NCE), Orlando (MCO), and Mexico City (MEX) as well as to Lyon (LYS) from July 9, and Malta (MLA) from July 14, 2021.

Emirates also seeks to boost its capacity by increasing operational frequencies. The company is eager to add additional frequencies for services across 12 cities across Europe, Africa, and North America. 

Emirates plans a more dense schedule for operations to European destinations such as Munich (MUC), Dusseldorf (DUS), Hamburg (HAM), Zurich (ZRH), Vienna (VIE), Prague (PRG), and Madrid (MAD), Stockholm (ARN), Brussels (BRU), Lisbon (LIS) as well as the African route to Tunis (TUN).

Moreover, the airline plans to operate over 70 weekly flights across various destinations in the United States, including the 11 routes it already serves to Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK and EWR), Houston (HOU), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Washington (DCA), and Orlando (MCO). From July 2021, it will also launch a new route to Miami (MIA). 

The company also aims to ramp up its trans-Atlantic operations between Milan (MXP) and New York (JFK), as well as between Athens (ATH) and Newark (EWR).

Emirates expands A380 network

Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emirates, said that since many countries already began to turn the page and reopen for international travelers, the airline started noticing “strong signs of pent-up demand wherever restrictions have eased“. Therefore, the company is boosting its Airbus A380 network for the summer season and reactivating more than 30 widebodies to serve 15 cities across the network on a total of 129 weekly flights.

“Emirates A380 experience continues to be sought after by customers, with many going out of their way to book their travel on an Emirates A380 for its signature products, spaciousness, quietness and unmatched levels of comfort,“ the airline declared in the statement.

The A380s should be deployed on operations to Cairo (CAI), Jeddah (JED), Amman (AMM), Guangzhou (CAN), London Heathrow (LHR), Manchester (MAN), Frankfurt (FRA), Vienna (VIE), Paris (CDG), Munich (MUC), Moscow (DME), New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), Washington (DCA). and Toronto (YYZ).

Emirates currently has a total of 118 A380 aircraft, 95 of which are marked as parked, Planespotters.com data indicates.