Middle East

Emirates to restore almost 90% of passenger network by end of July

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Emirates Airline Boeing 777-300ER planes are seen at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo

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DUBAI, June 17 (Reuters) - Emirates airline will operate close to 90% of its pre-pandemic network by the end of July as it restores more destinations and increases flights on other routes over the summer, it said on Thursday.

The Dubai state carrier, which reported a record $5.5 billion loss this week, said it was encouraged by countries reopening to visitors, forecasting strong demand during the peak summer travel season. read more

Emirates will operate 880 weekly services to 124 passenger destinations by the end of July, up from 115 today and compared to a pre-pandemic passenger network of 143 destinations, it said.

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Next month, flights will resume to Venice, Phuket, Nice, Orlando, Mexico City, Lyon and Malta and a new service to Miami will commence.

"Emirates is committed to keeping Dubai, businesses and communities around the world connected and we are working hard to rebuild our network and secure access to more destinations in partnership with various authorities and stakeholders," Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in a statement.

"We are encouraged by the latest developments as many countries have begun to turn the page and reopen for international visitors, and we are seeing strong signs of pent-up demand wherever restrictions have eased."

On Tuesday, Sheikh Ahmed said the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic would be patchy, warning that no one could say when the industry's worst ever crisis would be over.

The airline's network consisted of 157 destinations prior to the pandemic, including 14 cargo-only services.

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Writing by Alexander Cornwell; editing by David Evans

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