Adel Al Reda, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates Airlines, confirmed that the profitability of the airline during the second half of fiscal year 2021-2022 is related to the company’s performance from October to January, due to travel delays in February and March . , indicating that the results will be positive in some way.public.
Speaking to reporters on the outskirts of Dubai Airshow 2021, Al-Rida said bookings at the current time for December promise that the occupancy rate on flights will reach around 80%, indicating that there is a steady increase in demand. for travel, which pushes us to deploy more “A380” aircraft, as well as recruit more staff in various disciplines, amounting to 6 thousand employees in 6 months.
Al-Rida ruled out the Emirates announcing new aircraft deals during the Dubai Airshow 2021, noting that the focus is on deals with companies and manufacturers, which were announced and include placing premium economy class on 105 aircraft in the fleet, and conversion of 4. Boeing passenger planes. »For cargo planes and order two new cargo planes.
Premium Economy Class
Al-Ridha said that there is a great demand for premium economy class, especially from economy class passengers, as the airline tested this product in several destinations, emphasizing that the new product attracted a lot of interest from passengers, due to the advantages that offers. economy class premium seats.
Al-Rida noted that Emirates investments in economy class premium product will be in the billions, as its cost will vary from model to model.
He explained that bookings through Emirates Airlines are promising, as the more the protocols change in the countries and the ease of entry requirements, the bookings through the carrier will increase directly, noting that there is a large increase in bookings in some countries with more than 35.% in Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland after the change of travel protocols.
Al-Rida noted that seat occupancy on airline flights is currently more than 65% and is expected to reach 80% in December, with the continuous increase in occupancy volume.
Al-Rida stressed that there is a demand for travel, but the challenge lies in the ability of some airports in countries around the world to accommodate the increased movement, both in the number of flights and in passengers, due to lack of staff. in the stages of passenger service.
He stressed that it is difficult to predict the conditions of travel to the next stage or the renewal of new waves of epidemic in some regions of the world, explaining that the increase in infections is related to the rate of vaccination in these countries. excluding that there will be a complete closure in the world due to the increase in infections.
Al-Rida explained that the carrier currently occupies about 65% of the seat capacity compared to the pre-Covid-19 phase in 2019, explaining that the carrier operates 45 A380 aircraft, compared to 27 aircraft two months ago, in addition to aircraft operation. the whole fleet. The airline is Boeing 777.
He stressed that most of the flights performed by the carrier were profitable.
He explained that the company did not lay off all employees, especially in the operations department, but with unpaid leave, which helped us quickly reinstate employees within their positions, without the need for new hiring processes, which us enabled rapid restart. flights.
He explained that the focus of the airline will be on returning to the same previous operational capacity in terms of number of flights, instead of opening new destinations currently.
He explained that the company plans to start returning to its previous operating capacity, but this issue depends on market developments and allowing the operation of additional flights and increasing flight capacity, especially as some countries are still determining the number of passengers.
Al-Rida confirmed that the airline’s delivery schedule for the new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus is unclear, noting that there are many challenges facing Boeing, including completing approvals and licenses for the 777X aircraft, and the program is scheduled to end. in the middle of 2023, then the submission phase begins.
He explained that Emirates Airlines has not reached a final agreement with Boeing on the issue of aircraft delivery, especially that there are challenges due to some new procedures from the Federal Aviation Administration, but Boeing is a reliable company that is able to overcome these challenges.
Al-Rida ruled out the Emirates taking the Airbus A350 aircraft, which was scheduled to be delivered in 2023.
He said the pandemic has affected several things. The A350 aircraft are supposed to be delivered in 2023, and this will not happen and it will be difficult to prepare the aircraft for delivery in 2023, and this applies to all aircraft, including aircraft Boeing 787. He said that the delay in receiving new aircraft will be covered by the expansion of work.Me flydubai, enabling us through this increased cooperation between the two companies to operate new lines.
Regarding the decommissioning of the old Airbus A380 aircraft, he explained that two aircraft have been referred to retirement, noting that the company has a clear plan for this. Al-Ridha said that with the delay in receiving new orders for the Boeing 777X, 787 and Airbus A350 aircraft, the airline will extend the operation of the aircraft scheduled to retire to fill this gap in order to maintain keep up with the company’s expansions and plans to operate intensively for several destinations.
Al-Rida found that the airline is expected to employ more than 6,000 people over the next six months in several departments, including pilots, cabin crew, engineers, technicians or airport staff.
Al-Ridha said the carrier has started hiring pilots, as 70 to 80 pilots enter the training center per month to prepare them for the resumption of work on the operation of the A380 aircraft.
Al-Rida confirmed that Emirates Airlines has fulfilled all its financial obligations and payments to all suppliers, leasing companies and banks.
Regarding maintenance, Al-Rida said that some maintenance operations have been postponed, due to the suspension of a large number of aircraft during the “Covid-19”, noting that the annual maintenance costs are estimated at 7 billion dirhams and that it’s not done. change, but it was moved from 2020 to 2021, which will show a significant momentum in the demand for maintenance operations with the fleet restored to operation.