UAE’s Emirates to resume limited outbound passenger flights from April 6

UAE’s Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul carrier, will resume a limited number of passenger flights from April 6 as the UAE relaxes travel restrictions, its chairman said Thursday.

On March 25, the UAE started suspending all passenger flights for two weeks, except emergency evacuation and cargo flights, due to the coronavirus pandemic, marking the country’s worst aviation crisis.

“Emirates has received approval from UAE authorities to start flying a limited number of passenger flights,” Emirates Group Chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said on Twitter. “From April 6, these flights will initially carry travelers outbound from the UAE. Details will be announced soon.”

Dubai International Airport, the home of Emirates, last year retained its title as the busiest hub for international travel, despite a 3.1% drop in passenger numbers to 86.4 million, which was attributed to global market conditions and the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

Jet fuel demand

Emirates, the biggest operator of A380 super jumbo jets and Boeing 777s, carried 29.6 million passengers between April 1 and September 30 2019, 2% fewer on the year.

Jet fuel demand in the UAE alone accounts for more than 30% of the Middle East’s jet fuel consumption and more than 2.5% of global jet fuel demand, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics. The demand does not include refueling abroad of international flights from the UAE. Given the increasing connectivity of the UAE’s international flights in different regions, the impact of the suspension will likely dampen global jet fuel demand more than Middle Eastern demand, according to Platts Analytics.