Emirates had a nice moment for about a decade. But what were the airline's strengths are now weaknesses. It has no local market and its fleet is dominated by gigantic airplanes.
Emirates will decide over the next few months on the size of its future fleet, the Dubai-based airline’s president said on Tuesday.
It is not clear when Emirates, which flew to 157 destinations in 83 countries before the coronavirus pandemic, will start rebuilding its network after grounding passenger flights in March. It has since flown few, limited services.
“We need a little more time to see how this is all going to pan out,” he said in an online interview with industry publication Aviation Week.
A decision will be made once there is greater clarity on whether demand for travel will start to rebound next year, which Clark said depends on a widely available COVID-19 vaccine being developed soon.
The airline is looking at its 115 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest fleet of the superjumbos, and the final eight pending deliveries of the double decker plane, Clark said without elaborating.
Emirates is in talks with Airbus to reduce final A380 deliveries, sources have told Reuters.
The airline is also “looking” at it order for 50 Airbus A350s and orders for 126 Boeing 777x jets and 30 of the U.S. planemaker’s 787 jets.
It could take Emirates four years to resume flights across its entire network, Clark said on Monday.
He is due step down as president this month and become an adviser to the airline.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell and Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by David Goodman)
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Photo credit: Emirates may retire some of its Airbus A380s. Mark Harkin / Flickr