Dubai: Emirates Airline said on Saturday it will suspend flights between Bangkok and Sydney from June 1, while also adding capacity on certain routes in Africa, in response to demand.
The changes come as the Dubai-based carrier updates its operational plans for the year and makes adjustments to flight schedules during April and May when the southern runway at Dubai International Airport will be closed for refurbishment.
For Australia, Emirates will adjust its routes to Perth, serving the city with a once-daily Airbus service and keeping its direct flights to Sydney.
Flights to South America will also be adjusted, with Emirates suspending its linked flight from Dubai to Santiago via Sao Paulo.
The carrier said it will be reducing the number of flights it operates between April 16 and May 30 by 25 per cent, with a “significant number” of those flights cancelled, re-timed, or operated with a different type of aircraft.
In the United Kingdom, Emirates will replace its double-daily Boeing 777 service with a once-daily Airbus A380 service from April 16 to May 31.
From June 1 until September 30, the airline will resume operations of a double-daily service to Glasgow, with one daily Boeing 777 and one Airbus A380, offering additional capacity to meet increased demand over the summer.
As for the rest of Europe, Emirates will operate daily flights to Zagreb, Croatia, from March 31 to October 26. This will be reduced, however, to four times a week during the runway’s closure.
The carrier will add a second daily flight to Athens in Greece between March 31 and October 26, though it will not operate the second flight during the 45-day period of the runway closure. Similarly, Emirates will add a third daily flight to Rome in Italy from April to October, but not while the southern runway is closed. Stockholm in Sweden will get extra capacity in July and August, with a double-daily service.
In Africa, Emirates will deploy additional flights to some cities from June to “satisfy the increased demand that the airline has witnessed in these markets.”
Routes that will see extra capacity include Casablanca in Morocco, Abuja in Nigeria, Accra in Ghana, Conakry in Guinea, and Dakar in Senegal.
The North American market will not see much change, with the exception of flights to the city of Boston, which will be operated with an Airbus A380 between June and September as well as December 2019 and January 2020 to “accommodate the increased seasonal demand in travel to the US East Coast.”
Dubai: The last time a runway was closed at Dubai International Airport for refurbishment, Emirates’ profits suffered. In 2014, when a runway was closed for 80 days, Emirates said the closure was “the biggest hit” to its bottom line.
Then, the drop in operations at the airport hurt dnata, the airport services provider that is part of Emirates Group, as it reported a 26 per cent decline in its profits. The northern runway had been closed during peak season from May to July 2014.
This year, when Dubai International closes one of its runways again for maintenance work, the closure will be from April 16 to May 30, which operator Dubai Airports described as a slower period for passenger traffic due to a seasonal lull.