Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Emirates eyes more easing of Australia travel rules before expanding Dublin-Dubai route

Middle Eastern airline Emirates says it could be next summer before it restores more capacity on its route from Dublin to its hub in Dubai, even as it experiences a bookings surge due to the reopening of travel into come Australian cities that can be reached from Ireland via the Middle East.

Emirates said the Dublin-Dubai route remains profitable, however, due to elevated revenues from shifting cargo such as core Irish exports like pharmaceutical products and food. Overall, revenues on the route were 80 per cent higher in September compared to the prior year, with cargo making up 30 per cent.

The airline, which is ultimately owned by the government of Dubai, currently flies to the city-state once per day from Dublin, which is half its pre-pandemic capacity, when it flew twice daily on the route.

Aircraft

Enda Corneille, the Emirates country manager for Ireland, said the current load factor – the proportion of seats sold on each flight – is 50 per cent for its seven weekly flights, compared to 85-90 per cent prior to the pandemic on its 14 flights.

This suggests Emirates, which uses an aircraft with 360 seats on the route, is currently flying about 1,250 passengers per week from Dublin to Dubai, compared to closer to 4,500 per week prior to the pandemic.

Mr Corneille said Dublin is one of the top five “feeder markets” for flights from Emirates’s Dubai hub to Australian cities and the relaxation of strict border closures there has been a “game changer” for flights originating in Ireland.

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