Emirates RegionalManager for Southern Africa, Afzal Parambil, has pledged the total restoration of the airline’s pre-COVID schedule in South Africa in the coming months, as well as the introduction of a second Airbus A380 service on flights between Johannesburg and Dubai from July.
According to Parambil, the airline has recovered 70% of its network and resumed flights to 130 destinations globally so far.
He said this represented around one million seats per week and expected that capacity could increase to 80% of EK’s pre-COVID levels by the end of the European summer – around September.
“Pre-COVID, we had 49 weekly flights, including four dailies to Johannesburg, a double-daily service to Cape Town and a daily flight to Durban. We currently operate double-daily to JNB, and one of those flights is an A380 service featuring our flagship product. We operate daily to CPT and five weekly flights to DUR. From July, we are going to have both flights to JNB operated by an A380.”
Parambil explained that increasing demand was boosting confidence in South Africa as a destination. “Capacity is based on demand. Globally, we have challenges like every other airline including manpower constraints, but our recruitment process has also been fast-tracked. As we have ramped up our operation, we have ramped up recruitment,” he added.