Emirates hopes for all A380s to be flying by early 2022

If Emirates President Sir Tim Clark has his way, 2022 will see a superjumbo surge.

By David Flynn, July 6 2020
Emirates hopes for all A380s to be flying by early 2022

Emirates is expecting to have its Airbus A380 superjumbos soaring again by April 2022 as it rides and in some ways fuels the post-pandemic travel wave.

While that could be seen as somewhat optimistic, given that the International Air Transport Association reported last week that it predicts global demand for air travel may not return to 2019 levels until 2023, it also represents Emirates President Sir Tim Clark’s confidence in the shape of the recovery curve.

“The A380 has defined us,” Clark tells The Times“As demand returns, and given the slot availability at prime hubs, there will be a place for it. I’m hoping by April 2022, all our A380s will be flying again.”

Emirates hopes to see the superjumbo back in strength by early 2022.
Emirates hopes to see the superjumbo back in strength by early 2022.

All 115 of the Gulf carrier’s flagship A380 fleet are currently grounded, but Clark believes that the airline’s Dubai hub will regain its crown as the crossroads of the world – and for that, it will need the 500-seat superjumbo.

And while the first class showers and the business class bar are currently roped off, Clark maintains those signature touches of the Emirates’ premium travel experience would also return, promising “we’ll restore the full product.”

The inflight bar, sans social distancing.
The inflight bar, sans social distancing.

At the same time, Clark sees the lower-cost ‘basic business class’ package – which provides the personal space of a business class seat without inclusions such as a chauffeur drive, lounge access or advance seat selection as becoming increasingly popular “because people will be prepared to pay more for greater distancing” on board.

Emirates' lower-cost 'business class unbundled' fare could have increased appeal to the post-pandemic traveller.
Emirates' lower-cost 'business class unbundled' fare could have increased appeal to the post-pandemic traveller.

Similar changes in thinking could also prove an added kickstart to Emirates’ all-new premium economy cabin, which the airline expected to launch this year but is now likely to be delayed until 2021.

This staggered seat is said to be the design chosen by Emirates for its forthcoming premium economy offering.
This staggered seat is said to be the design chosen by Emirates for its forthcoming premium economy offering.

The spacious seat – which Clark has described as a railway-style “sleeperette” design that will fully cradle the legs and feet, with a 10-inch recline and around 38 inches of pitch – has already been fitted to some A380s at Airbus' superjumbo facility in Toulouse.

Clark has previously told Executive Traveller that on Airbus A380s fitted with first class, the premium economy cabin will be located at the front of the lower deck with “as many as 56 seats.”

It will also be separate to economy class in order to provide “a degree of exclusivity... and not just a curtain, it'll be a proper cabin. We're aiming to make it a quiet zone, a comfortable zone.”

Read more: Here's everything we know about Emirates' new premium economy seat

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

NT
NT

30 Apr 2013

Total posts 6

I hope so too!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 808

I still don't understand their decision to only fit W class to new planes with zero retrofitting. It just leads to an inconsistent product for years to come. Surely they could use this unplanned downtime as the perfect opportunity to identify those A380s they are staying for the longer term and commence fitting them out also.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1243

It's called trying to preserve your cash reserves. Retrofitting is an expensive exercise.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 542

Now were talk'n! Despite the doom and gloom long live the A380 I say...best thing to happen for passengers in modern day aviation.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 151

Good news.

It is great that airlines like EK and QR are ready to backfill the market share QF plans on losing by not flying until mid-2021 with no A380 for another three years (or possibly never).

Travel will resume, normality will return and I am glad to see some airlines are planning for this.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 61

Unfortunately, the ultimate outcome will have more to do with evidence-based science regarding the existing (and potentially mutated) form(s) of COVID, transmission rates and treatment options rather than Tim's optimism


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Emirates hopes for all A380s to be flying by early 2022