Emirates has started to recall some of their Airbus A380 pilots that are on unpaid leave as the A380 operations get busier.
It appears Emirates would keep the A380 flying much longer than intended as the 777X is expecting even further delays.
“The main concern of ours, of course, is where are we on the 777 program, because we should have had the first one in June of last year. And so far, we don’t have any visibility as to when the first one will arrive.” - Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates
Emirates is the largest operator of the A380 aircraft and is the sole reason the A380 program lasted as far as it did.
The airline has so far retired only one 12-year-old A380 from a fleet of 117 A380s. At peak, Emirates was operating up to 90 destinations with the A380.
“This, of course, is affecting all our plans … We’re thinking now, the back end of this year through to the end of the decade, and where our network is going to be what our fleet is going to look like, what type of aircraft, how many, etc. Now, not being able to factor in the 777-9, or -8 at this stage is a little bit of a problem.”Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates
Before the pandemic, 85% of Emirates profits came from the A380. Emirates has already started to resume former A380 routes with recommencing flights to Amman, Bangkok, and Hong Kong just this month.
Emirates has said the A380 would remain in their fleet for the coming 15 years. The airline operates to the Maldives with the Boeing 777-300ER.