September 29, 2022

Emirates returns to pre-pandemic flight frequencies in India

Mohammad Sarhan, Emirates Vice President for India and Nepal

While India has resumed regular international flights from late March 2022, Emirates has reintroduced pre-pandemic flight frequencies to its destinations in India from April 1, 2022. While India is doing well for the Dubai-based carrier Mohammad Sarhan, Vice President, India and Nepal, Emirates, shares the latest developments from the airline which is constantly striving to raise its standards of service and technology for a better customer experience.

– Prashant Nayak

India has always been an important market for Emirates, and the country’s decision in March 2022 to resume scheduled international flights was a significant moment for the airline. They have been continuously monitoring the situation in India and working with authorities to resume services safely as soon as possible. In line with bilateral agreements established between the two countries, Emirates has restarted its scheduled flights to India on April 1, 2022.

The resumption of services provided an excellent opportunity to meet growing demand and foster recovery. The development supported network recovery and the responsibility to steer positive travel sentiments. With pent-up travel demand being released by easing travel restrictions and improving cross-border coordination, the development has helped them strengthen their operations.

“As travel picks up with solid customer appetite resulting in huge improvement, we are seeing healthy demand from India thanks to strong leisure demand and growing demand for business travel. We have already recovered our network in India to 170 weekly flights across nine cities After a two-year hiatus, we have seen India enjoy a peak in summer travel with significant outbound traffic to several international routes in Asia, the Maldives, the Middle East and America,” says Mohammad.

The 170 weekly flights include 35 services to Mumbai, 28 to Delhi, 24 to Bengaluru, 21 to Chennai and Hyderabad, 14 to Kochi, 11 to Kolkata, nine to Ahmedabad and seven to Thiruvananthapuram. In March this year, they also brought back the customer-favorite Airbus A380, which now operates daily between Dubai and Mumbai.

During the pandemic days, the safety and health of their customers and employees have always been taken very seriously, and the airline has taken several measures to ensure a safe flight experience during the pandemic. “We liaised on an ongoing basis with international and local health organizations to ensure we were following the most up-to-date medical guidelines and guidelines. Emirates has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures on all aircraft departing from Dubai as a precaution, and has worked closely with airports to implement the screening measures required by local authorities,” Muhammad recalls.

Redefining safety and hygiene standards on board and on the ground, Emirates has unveiled multi-faceted measures for employees and customers at every stage of travel. Mohammad adds: “Since flights were restored after the pandemic, Emirates has gone the extra mile to ensure a safe flight experience for our passengers. Security measures are adopted at every stage of the customer journey to ensure their safety and protect their interests, right from the ticket booking stage where we offer flexible date change options to our customers. Additionally, we have also taken several steps forward, using biometric facial recognition at check-in kiosks. Whether arriving, departing or in transit, Emirates strives to maintain all security protocols to make the experience safe.

Emirates also accelerated digital initiatives to offer its customers smoother and safer travel, being the first airline to implement the IATA Travel Pass solution across its network across six continents; expand its biometric and contactless touchpoints at Dubai Airport and partner with the Al Hosn app to enable fast and secure digital verification of COVID-19 travel documents.

Speaking of technological advancements on board and on the ground at Emirates, the airline was the first to equip its entire fleet with mobile phone connectivity in 2007, and now every aircraft is equipped with Wi-Fi services. Last year, they replaced MB-limited plans with unlimited or timed plans, simplifying the options available to their customers. Their award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, offers over 4,500 channels of on-demand movies, music, TV shows, documentaries in over 40 languages ​​and even premium content such as HBO Max. Emirates customers can browse the wide range of content available on ice, create their playlist in the Emirates mobile app and then sync it on board for a more personalized travel experience.

The airline recently launched Dubai Experience, a powerful and intuitive platform allowing customers to easily browse, create and book their personalized itineraries, including flights, hotel stays, visits to top attractions and attractions. other dining and leisure experiences in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

“The pandemic has further accelerated our digitization efforts. We have adapted quickly to ensure we are ahead of the curve through the design and functionality of our digital and mobile channels, as well as the customer experience touchpoints we are developing in the field, on board and online. We will continue to deploy advanced technologies such as biometrics, AI and robotics across our operational and customer touchpoints to ensure a contactless and seamless experience in the field, and we will make announcements in the near future regarding changes to improve the passenger journey. . We are fortunate to work with like-minded partners across the travel ecosystem who are focused on innovating and leveraging digital platforms and advanced technologies to improve processes and ultimately the customer experience,” says Mohammad.

Currently, Emirates flies to more than 130 passenger destinations around the world. Their customers in India could fly to all of these destinations through our hub in Dubai. Emirates now has 25 codeshare partners (codeshare agreements with 24 airlines and an Air/Rail codeshare agreement with SNCF/TGV Air) and more than 100 interline partners in 82 countries, extending the reach of its global network of more than 5,250 additional cities. This provides passengers in India with a wide choice and flexibility to travel to the destinations of their choice.

With the UAE being a premier tourist destination for Indians, Emirates’ unparalleled luxury-rich inflight offerings spoil their customers and are carefully crafted to cater for all aspects of travel, whether in-flight cuisine or award-winning in-flight entertainment. More than pricing, their customers benefit from these signature Emirates onboard offers, the airline’s excellent connectivity options and the bundled experiences they offer, such as My Emirates Pass. Emirates customers traveling to Dubai before September 30, 2022 can enjoy exclusive offers at over 500 locations, including top restaurants, branded outlets, spas and other exclusive attractions in Dubai, simply showing their Emirates boarding pass.

“Emirates is also working closely with its travel business partners to offer them access to the full range of information on its latest products and services, and policies through its platform, Emirates Gateway by offering rich content exclusive to travel agent partners to deliver better customer experiences through tailored products and services. Information for travel partners is also available on the Emirates Partner Portal, Emirates.com, the Emirates Call Center and retail offices,” Mohammad informs.

Currently, the airline’s overall focus remains on recovery by rebuilding its network and capacity to pre-pandemic levels; help the industry recover through close cooperation and meaningful partnerships, and invest for the future to position itself on an even stronger footing.

On expansion and future plans, Mohammad says, “As travel restrictions ease or are removed altogether, we are expanding our network to meet current demand levels. Emirates will step up its global operations this year with the restart of services to London Stansted, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. We are also strengthening our services to Singapore, Mauritius, Nigeria and Singapore to meet growing demand.

“In addition, by the end of this year, Emirates will launch a major refurbishment program where 52 Emirates A380s and 53 Boeing 777s will be fitted with the much sought-after new Premium Economy cabins. We also plan to install an all-new Business Class product. on our Boeing 777s, with bespoke seating in a 1-2-1 layout.Our Premium Economy cabin will initially be available to Emirates customers traveling on popular A380 routes to London, Paris, Sydney and Christchurch. We intend to bring this experience to many other markets through our network,” concludes Mohammad.