Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, carried more than 10 million passengers on nearly 35,000 flights to 130 destinations this summer as air travel demand came roaring back.
Anticipating the strong rebound in travel demand, the Dubai-based airline “worked closely” with its airport partners to operate as scheduled and minimise travel disruptions, Emirates said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Travellers benefited from the airline’s investments in services and digital initiatives to reduce wait-times at the airport and facilitating a smooth flow for customers to complete their formalities and get to where they are going,” Emirates said.
Strikes and staff shortages have forced some airlines to cancel or delay thousands of flights to avoid hours-long queues at major hubs across Europe.
The scenes of chaos and disruption have frustrated passengers eager to get back to travel after coronavirus-related lockdowns, while airlines are racing to ramp up operations to meet demand.
The number of passengers using Dubai International Airport (DXB), Emirates' home base, nearly tripled to 14.2 million during the second quarter of 2022, despite reduced capacity from the closure of one of its two runways for 45 days of refurbishment work.
This was its ninth consecutive quarter of continued growth since the start of the pandemic.
First-half passenger volumes more than doubled on the year to 27.9 million at DXB.
Emirates ramped up operations to meet demand during the busy summer period, resuming daily services to London Stansted and increasing flights to 33 cities on popular routes across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it said. It also restarted flights to holiday spots like the Seychelles, Maldives, Mexico and Miami.
In June, Emirates introduced Tel Aviv to its global network and in July added a third daily flight to London Gatwick to serve travellers affected by capacity cuts at Heathrow. The hub extended its cap on passenger numbers until the end of October. The cap — limiting the number of passengers departing each day to 100,000, because of staff shortages — is due to end on September 11.
Emirates' Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial jet, was also deployed to serve high passenger demand at more than 30 cities across the network, the airline said.
On the ground, the airline reopened and operated 32 Emirates Lounges, including 25 dedicated lounges at major airports across its network, for its frequent flyers and premium travellers.
Emirates also reinstated its complimentary Chauffeur Drive airport transfers for First and Business Class customers in nearly all the cities it serves.
“With millions of Emirates customers arriving, departing, and transiting through DXB each month, the airline ensured smooth operations at its 24/7 hub with close co-ordination and additional resources deployed throughout the airport ecosystem,” it said.
During the summer months, more than 3.8 million travellers across the network checked-in online via emirates.com and the Emirates App.
More than 500,000 travellers utilised the 22 self-service check-in kiosks and 38 baggage drop facilities in Dubai Terminal 3.
About 11,000 travellers utilised Emirates’ home check-in services, which are complimentary for First Class passengers departing Dubai, skipping the airport check-in queue and proceeding to immigration.
Emirates is continuing to rebuild its network and capacity as travel restrictions ease.
It is currently operating at 74 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity and plans to increase that to 80 per cent by the end of the year, the airline said.
Emirates is also starting a $2 billion retrofit programme in November to equip 120 aircraft with its latest on-board products.