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Getting back to 70% of pre-COVID-19 levels will need careful managing, with disruptions to airline services still taking place. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Emirates airline plans to ramp up its capacity to 70 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of 2021.

"That's an objective we have... and we're committed to achieving, but again, many of these factors are determined by various governments," said Adnan Al Kazim, Emirates' Chief Commercial Officer, during the Arabian Travel Market conference. The executive said he was "optimistic" about the rapid rollout of vaccines in the US and Europe resulting in the opening up of international borders and resumption of flights.

Al Kazim added that Emirates would add more capacity ahead of Dubai’s Expo event, which is set to start in October and expected to attract millions of visitors. "For us, we definitely need to map the exact capacity and the network to meet that requirement for the Expo," said Al Kazim.

Cruise sector rebound

Al Kazim said talks are ongoing on bringing European cruise liners to Dubai’s shores again. "There's a lot of engagement happening with cruise operators, (but) there is no commitment yet," said Al Kazim.

"Working with cruise liners; there are certain measures and and procedures at hand - it is a bit of a different game," said Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism.