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Strategy Review After Pandemic Will Be Necessary, Says Emirates COO

Strategy Review After Pandemic Will Be Necessary, Says Emirates COO
The chief operating officer of Gulf airline Emirates believes that there is need to further redefine its strategy of the company following the near halting of global aviation industry because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The airline however also stressed on the need to bring in more visitors to Dubai.
One of the largest long haul carriers of the world, Emirates group has been instrumental in transforming Dubai into a major gateway for international travelers over the last 35 years and setting up Dubai as the most important transit point between the East and the West with passengers switching planes there.
“We will need to redefine some of the operating model... because surely what used to work for us in the past is not going to work for us going forward,” said Emirates COO Adel Ahmad Al Redha.
Emirate’s new focus will be to bring in more people to visit Dubai while also continuing to position Gulf city as a hub that “connects the world” through the hub-and-spoke model that has been successfully implemented by it for more than three decades, he said.
Emirates only operates international flights.
He said that a re-examination of its network will be looked into by the airline and seek out to generate greater cooperation with fellow state carrier flydubai. The two airlines that are state owned, sells tickets on each other’s flights and coordinate on network planning.
Al Redha said that it would be also necessary for Emirates to operate smaller aircraft and the airline has already placed orders for the same and those are to be delivered starting in 2023. Currently the airline majorly operates a fleet hat comprises of large widebody Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s and many of which has been grounded since the global outbreak of the pandemic.
 “Going forward we cannot sustain long-term operating on that kind of fleet. We need to inject the smaller type,” Al Redha said.
He said that the airline will be forced to keep grounded some of the 115 A380s for the rest of this year and is also negotiating with Airbus to delay the delivery of three more planes that are scheduled to be handed over to the airline this year.
Currently, the airline is not sure about whether Boeing will be able to deliver this year the new version of the 777, known as the 777x, Al Redha said. He added that the airline does not plan to cancel the order with Boeing.
There has been no comment available from Airbus while a Boeing spokeswoman told the company that the company continues to make steady progress on the new jet.
In recent weeks, with countries slowly opening up their borders to international flights, Emirates has started resuming flights to some destinations. The airline said that up to 55 destinations will be flown by it in July and 60 in August.
After plunging during the pandemic, demand for flights was looking positive, Al Redha said, and added that some of its flights are getting filled up to 50 per cent of the occupancy. The airline was however unsure whether the current recovery in the airline industry will be sustained over a period of time, he cautioned.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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