With the passenger demand increasing this year, Emirates, flying to 130 destinations in the world, has achieved 90 per cent traffic of the pre-pandemic levels. Looking into the demand, the airlines has brought back its flagship A380 planes, presently flying to 30 destinations, shares Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East & Central Asia, Emirates.
What are the plans in terms of expanding the network further for rest of the year?
We remain focused on rebuilding our network and fleet, and today we are operating over 90 per cent of our pre-pandemic network, flying to 130 passenger destinations. We are experiencing robust demand across our network, and where operationally possible, we are boosting frequencies and adding capacity by reintroducing our flagship A380. Today, our A380 is flying to 30 destinations, and we just announced a host of destinations, including Perth, Bengaluru, and list will continue to grow in the coming months. We also launched Tel Aviv this summer, and a month into our operation, we announced the doubling of our flights to serve high passenger and cargo demand in and out of the market.
Will there be more code shares or partnerships?
Supporting aviation, travel and tourism sector specific challenges has never been so important, especially during this critical time as the industry charts its recovery. We have taken great strides in the last year to forge strong partnerships across the travel eco-system. This includes partnering with six airlines this year alone through forging or enhancing existing codeshare and interline partnerships to offer more choice for travellers. These airlines include Maldivian airlines, AEGEAN, Airlink, Royal Air Maroc, Garuda Indonesia, and Air Canada. Through our codeshare agreements with more than 26 carriers, two rail partners as well as 110 interline partners worldwide, Emirates offers its customers truly global connectivity with 5,000 cities across six continents.
Do you agree that working with a travel curator or travel agent has its benefits?
Of course, and they are an essential part of the travel eco-system. Travel agents and curators add value when promoting Emirates directly to a motivated audience of travellers looking to book their next journey, and they help to personalise their trips with us through our rich products and services on offer. We continue to work hard and nurture the relationships that we have built with our trade partners.
Last year, we introduced Emirates Gateway, our own portal that offers exclusive content and services for travel agent partners on our NDC-enabled direct connect platform, with the goal to empower our trade partners through a consolidated experience that delivers even better customer experiences, and provides them with exclusive content.
How will you incentivize travel agents, as the costs have risen in COVID times?
Emirates believes that travel agents are important partners and allies to us, and we value their business and ongoing support. Global travel costs have risen across the industry and are affecting every part of our ecosystem, whether its inflationary pressures, fuel costs, among other factors. Emirates has a longstanding commitment to our trade partners and our commission rates remain competitive. Along with supporting their business goals, we continue to help our trade partners to differentiate their proposition with exciting new products like Premium Economy, as well as regular promotions.