Emirates says it is adding capacity to destinations across Africa in a move to remain “agile in deploying our aircraft to destinations where it best serves customer demand.” The Gulf carrier said it would also temporarily adjust capacity due to the closure of the southern runway at its Dubai International (DXB) base.
Recently, Emirates announced a series of operational changes for the new year. The Gulf carrier said the moves are designed not only to mitigate challenges posed by the temporary closure of the southern runway at its Dubai International Airport (DXB) base of operations, but also to focus on resources on underserved destinations across Africa. Airline officials indicated further capacity and route map shifts are likely in the coming months.
“At Emirates, we pride ourselves on being a customer-focused airline with a commercially-driven business model,” Emirates President Tim Clark said in a statement announcing the significant operational changes. “We invest in a modern and efficient aircraft fleet so we can offer industry-leading comforts to our customers, and we are agile in deploying our aircraft to destinations where it best serves customer demand.
The changes we are implementing to our network schedules in 2019 are in line with this approach, taking into consideration global market dynamics and operational limitations including the maintenance work on Dubai Airport’s Southern Runway. Through the year, we will continue to keep a close watch on global markets and will maintain our flexibility to optimize the usage of our aircraft assets.”
As part of Emirates’ new focus on Africa, the airline is adding additional flights between DXB and Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport (CMN), as well as expanded service to Accra Kotoka International Airport (ACC) and Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) and an additional weekly flight making stops at Conakry International Airport (CKY) and Dakar Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (DKR).
The airline also announced it will increase seasonal flights to a handful of destinations outside of Africa as well. Emirates will add daily flights to Athens International Airport (ATH), Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) and Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) this summer. Meanwhile, the carrier will add seasonal capacity by deploying new Airbus A380 aircraft on routes serving Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Glasgow Airport (GLA).
The shift in capacity means the airline will trim service to destinations in South America and Australia. Emirates says it will also temporarily cut a number of weekly and daily flights during upcoming runway work at its U.A.E base of operations. The maintenance at DXB is scheduled to take place between April 16th and May 30th of this year.
“Given the limitations around operating flights using a single runway at its hub, many Emirates flights will be cancelled, re-timed or have the operating aircraft changed in order to reduce impact on customers,” Emirates warns. “This will result in up to 48 Emirates aircraft not being utilized, with a 25% reduction in the overall number of flights operated by the airline during the 45-day period.”