International air travel will recover fully by mid-2023: Emirates CCO  


International air travel is expected to return to pre-COVID levels by mid-2023, said Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates.

“I would say it has currently reached 85% with domestic markets improving,” Mr. Kazim said. “By next year, with more countries including China, far eastern countries, Hong Kong and Japan expecting to open up, the international air travel sector will fully recover,” he added.

According to him, there is a spike in demand, especially for the premium category, for destinations in the U.S., Europe, the Far East, and even for the sub-continent.

He said seeing a surge in travel bookings and growing demand for premium flying, many airlines including Emirates, were in the process of reintroducing large wide-body aircrafts such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8.

“Bengaluru is a classic example, that’s why we are going to fly A380 from here to Dubai October 30 onwards,” the CCO said. “We now fly 80 of our total fleet of 118 A380s and are also in the process of deploying more A380s on other busy routes globally,’‘ he added.

Also, many airports including London (Heathrow), Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai are encouraging wide-body aircraft to minimise the frequency of smaller aircraft and also to reduce airport congestion.

“Many airports are coming ready for wide body aircraft. They cannot handle more number aircraft and more frequency. A380 can mobilise a lot of people at a time and give flexibility and freedom to airport infrastructure,” Mr. Kazim added.

The Emirates’ CCO further said that India was one of the core markets for the airline. “All our existing flights are running at full capacity and we will further expand connectivity between India and Dubai by introducing more flights.”

He said Emirates was quite bullish on the adoption of digital technologies to drive its business and constantly improve passenger safety and inflight experience. “We are also exploring metaverse in various HR methods and cabin crew training. One day we will also find a commercial use of it, by may be selling through metaverse,” he said.

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