Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark has revealed ambitious plans to grow the Dubai carrier’s fleet by 30 percent before the end of 2025.
In an interview with the Emirates World Interviews podcast series with Steve Harvey, Clark said the airline had grown at an average rate of between 14% and 20% over the last 20 years, but is currently going through a period of consolidation.
He said: “At some point it had to plateau. There are only so many cities that you can fly to. We’ve got to the situation where we have reached that kind of plateau of consolidation, where we have the fleet operating extensively to the network that we’re working and it’s working very well.”
Emirates is the largest international airline in the world with a fleet of 270 aircraft, which includes 12 freight, sister publication Arabian Business reported.
However, Clark said the “demise” of the A380 aircraft, which saw the Dubai carrier adjust its final order for the superjumbo earlier this year, has forced the airline to look at alternatives.
As a result Emirates is set to take delivery of a range of new aircraft, including A330 NEOs, A350s and 787s and 777Xs.
“What we see now is we start taking these aircraft in the first quarter of 2021 and we will continue to ramp up bringing these in between 2021 and 2025 and in that time you will see the network grow and flourish to many places in Africa we don’t fly to, other places in the Middle Eastern region, Asia and the United States and also South America,” said Clark.
“We’re just consolidating as we transition the fleet to more fuel efficient, more profitable aircraft for us, maintaining the high levels of product and offering a network of 350 of our own, possibly with Flydubai it will be 450 or 500 aircraft flying probably to 450 destinations.
“We’re transitioning to that situation, everything is being mapped on that basis and we believe, with a high degree of confidence, we will be able to achieve that.”
Clark is also confident that Dubai will have the infrastructure to deal with that level of expansion.
He said: “If you take the two airports together (Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central), Dubai (DXB) will grow to a capacity of about 115 million to 120 million when we really push it. That’s what we have modelled in terms of runway usage, stand usage.”
“If you bolt that onto DWC you have the possibility of 140-150 million passengers per annum transiting through Dubai. That gives us the capability to do all the things I’ve mentioned. I believe that will be the way forward before we finally complete or the government completes all the major airfield masterplan in Dubai World Central, probably in the middle of the 2030s.”