Emirates has released its operational schedules for 2019, which includes decreased flights during the closure of Dubai International’s southern runway for maintenance.
The runway will be closed between April 16 and May 30, with the carrier confirming that it will be forced to reduced flights by some 25 per cent over the 45-day period, with 48 aircraft being taken out of action.
Outside of this disruption there is a mixed bag of adjusted frequencies and capacities across the Emirates network.
Australia is the loser, with the carrier’s Bangkok-Sydney service being dropped from June 1, and one of the current two daily flights to Perth ceasing on March 31. This follow’s Etihad’s decision to drop its Perth service last year.
Meanwhile Emirates is set to increase services to Africa from June, including a second daily flight to Casablanca, three additional weekly services to Abuja, four extra weekly flights to Accra, and an extra weekly frequency to both Conakry (Guinea) and Dakar.
In Europe the airline will add a second daily service to Athens over the summer period between March 31 and October 26 (this frequency will not operate during the runway closure).
A third daily service to Rome will operate between the same dates (again not during the runway closure), and a second daily flights will serve Stockholm during July and August.
Emirates will also return to Zagreb for the summer 2019 season, as part of a strategic partnership with Flydubai, with a daily service (four times weekly during the runway closure).
In South America Emirates will deploy its newly refurbished B777-200LR onto daily flights to Rio de Janeiro from June 1, a service which will continue onto Buenos Aires four times weekly, and to Santiago de Chile on three days per week.
This change will see the linked Dubai-Sao Paulo-Santiago service dropped, although A380 direct flights to Sao Paulo will continue.
Finally the carrier is rostering its A380 superjumbo onto flights to Boston between June 1 and September 30, and again between December 1 and January 31, 2020, in order to “accommodate the increased seasonal demand in travel to the US East Coast”.
As previously reported Emirate will also operate its A380 on flights to Glasgow during the Dubai airport runway closure, replacing its twice daily B777 service with a single A380 flight, departing Dubai at 1450 and arriving into Glasgow at 1945, with the return leg leaving the Scottish city at 2130 and landing back into Dubai at 0755 the following day.
Then during the peak period between June 1 and September 30 the carrier’s double daily service will be reinstated, with the A380 operating on the first flight of the day, and the B777 on the second.
Finally from October the route will revert to a twice daily B777 service.
Commenting on the changes Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said:
“At Emirates, we pride ourselves on being a customer-focused airline with a commercially-driven business model. We invest in a modern and efficient aircraft fleet so we can offer industry-leading comforts to our customers, and we are agile in deploying our aircraft to destinations where it best serves customer demand.
“The changes we are implementing to our network schedules in 2019 are in line with this approach, taking into consideration global market dynamics and operational limitations including the maintenance work on Dubai Airport’s Southern Runway. Through the year, we will continue to keep a close watch on global markets and will maintain our flexibility to optimise the usage of our aircraft assets.”