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EMIRATES: Lifting capacity to Australia in 2024 to pre-pandemic levels

EMIRATES: Lifting capacity to Australia in 2024 to pre-pandemic levels

According to an interview that Sir Tim Clark recently gave to the Australian Financial Review, Emirates services to Australia should be back to pre-pandemic levels.

It’s easy for Clarke to say that Australia isn’t a problem for most airlines, given that he is not running Emirates rival Qatar Airways, which was recently denied additional landing rights to Australia.

In the interview, Emirates President Tim Clarke denies any involvement in the decision by Qantas – a major partner – to lobby against Qatar’s application for additional flights to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

That’s an interesting, if not naive, comment when Emirates and Qantas are major partners on the Australia to Dubai to Europe route. Providing more slots to Qatar would increase the competition between the two Middle East entities, and on the surface, it would appear that Qantas, in its opposition, was acting as an Emirates proxy. But according to Sir Tim Clarke, that is not the case.

an airplane on the tarmac
EK413 flight between Christchurch and Sydney [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Reflecting on Alan Joyce

Sir Tim also reflects on the turbulence at Qantas that resulted in the early departure of CEO Alan Joyce, expressing his personal sorrow for Joyce, who he credits with bringing Qantas ‘back up’ after the exclusionary leadership of his predecessor, Geoff Dixon.

Emirates expansion into Australia

Emirates is boosting its capacity into Australia mostly by scheduling larger aircraft. That’s higher capacity Airbus A380s instead of Boeing 777s. This substitution will happen on Emirates’ second daily flight on the Dubai to Brisbane route from October 2024. Emirates will also add a second daily service between Dubai and Perth in December.

Those additions, plus the already announced return to Adelaide, will mean that the passenger and freight capacity between the Gulf and Australia provided by Emirates will return to pre-COVID-19 levels. That’s an additional weekly 6,900 seats

a table with plates of food and a bottle of water
Dom Perignon and Caviar service in Emirates First Class on the A380 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

After two years of restricted capacity that has seen airfares through the roof, particularly on the Australia to Europe route, this is welcome news. With Emirates and other airlines returning to pre-COVID capacity limits and the addition of Turkish Airlines into the market, we should see some downward pressures on airfares.

You could get some below AU$7,500 airfares in business to Europe in peak season earlier this year. That’s down from the usual ~AU$9,000 fares in 2022 – 2923. I doubt we will see many specials under the AU$5,000 range, which were available if you looked hard prior to the pandemic. But maybe fares closer to AU$6,000 to AU$7,000 might be possible by the end of 2024 or 2025.

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