Bloomberg reports that Emirates optimistically expects the full A380 fleet to return by 2022 due to a sharp increase in the demand for air travel caused by the potential success of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In an interview, the airline’s president Sir Tim Clark said that he expects the airline’s A380 fleet to return due to an increase in travel caused by people who have been stuck at home for a long time due to lockdowns and border closures. The vaccine would allow people to travel safely and will likely cause countries to reopen their borders.
I can see demand for travel moving at pace,
My own view, and it’s always an optimistic view, is by end of next calendar year or the first quarter of 2022 we’ll have all our A380s flying.”
Emirates currently operates a fleet of 114 A380s with 8 still to be delivered, however, a large majority of the fleet remains in storage split between Emirates’ hub Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC). The airline expects to take delivery of 3 A380s this year, with at least 1 carrying the airline’s much anticipated new premium economy seat, which has had its rollout delayed due to the pandemic.
At the moment Emirates is still in the dark about when they will receive their new 777Xs, of which they have 115 on order. The aircraft was originally expected to be delivered in June this year, but has faced a string of delays.
Speaking about the 777Xs entry into service Sir Tim said
I have no idea,
They were due to be delivered this year in June, then it was 2021, then it was 2022. It hasn’t finished its certification program yet, both airframe and engine.”