Latest media statement - April 21th

Following the opening of the majority of Europe’s airspace, Emirates is making headway in moving on passengers who have been stranded as a result of volcanic ash clouds. In terms of passengers travelling to Europe via Dubai, Emirates is now accepting those with confirmed bookings for travel to the UK and Germany.
 
The airline is currently operating as many flights as possible on 21st April. However, the situation across Europe remains unpredictable and developments are being very closely monitored.
 
Based on the current UK airspace availability, the airline is operating flights into London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow throughout the day.
 
Elsewhere in Europe, airspace closures are gradually being eased. Flights continue into France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Cyprus and Russia.

Richard Vaughan, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: "We are hoping to make some good progress today in helping the many passengers who have been held up by the ongoing disruption. The gradual re-opening of UK airspace is a relief and critical to smoothing our Europe operations. Having said that, we have a long way to go before normality returns and it's important that passengers bear with us. We are very grateful for the patience and understanding our customers have displayed so far."

Flights to and from Germany continue to experience disruption and may be cancelled or re-routed.
 
Mr Vaughan added: "For passengers travelling to Europe via Dubai, Emirates is now accepting any passengers with confirmed bookings for travel to the UK and Germany."

As a result of the disruption, the airline has been losing approximately $10 million a day and around 100,000 passengers around the network have been affected.

Passengers are urged to check their flight status on www.emirates.com before leaving for the airport.

Emirates is constantly reviewing its flying schedule and aims to give customers as much notice as possible as information is received from European Air Traffic Control authorities.

Emirates' customers affected by the disruption can cancel their booking or change their onward destination without charge. All re-issue and cancellation fees will be waived while the disruption is ongoing.


ONLINE DOWNLOAD

Please find below details of how to download footage of Tim Clark - President Emirates Airline - briefing media at 09:30 GMT on 20th April. 

FLV/MPEG

To download an flv/MPEG file click:
Part I
Part II 
Part III

YOUTUBE 

Video link:
Part I
Part II
Part III

Embed code:

Part I:
<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/wT3CBJekbak&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/wT3CBJekbak&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

Part II:
<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TD9m7kFL-pY&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TD9m7kFL-pY&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

Part III:
<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/OQPYbyJJ3q8&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/OQPYbyJJ3q8&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

Q & A

What's the latest on the disruptions?

Following the opening of the majority of Europe’s airspace, Emirates is making headway in moving on passengers who have been stranded as a result of volcanic ash clouds. In terms of passengers travelling to Europe via Dubai, Emirates is now accepting those with confirmed bookings for travel to the UK and Germany.
The airline is currently operating as many flights as possible on 21st April. However, the situation across Europe remains unpredictable and developments are being very closely monitored.

What about the rest of Europe?

Elsewhere in Europe, airspace closures are gradually being eased. Flights continue into France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Cyprus and Russia.
Flights to and from Germany continue to experience disruption and may be cancelled or re-routed. Passengers are being asked to check the status of their flights on www.emirates.com before heading to the airport.
In terms of passengers travelling to Europe via Dubai, Emirates is now accepting those with confirmed bookings for travel to the UK and Germany.

What is Emirates' main priority?

Emirates is working to ensure that customers stranded in Dubai can continue with their journeys as quickly as possible.

What's the extent of the problem as far as passengers are concerned?

Around 100,000 passengers around the network have been affected with more than 270 flight cancellations. At the height of the disruption, Emirates was accommodating about 6,000 people in hotels across Dubai. That figure is gradually being reduced as airspace opens, but the situation remains fluid and is being constantly monitored.

What losses are being incurred? 

  • The airline has been losing $10 million a day in passenger revenue 

  • $2 million a day in lost cargo revenue 

  • More than 270 flights impacted so far 

  • Around 100,000 passengers overall affected  

  • More than 2,000 tonnes of cargo disrupted 

What is the effect on passenger backlog if the disruption continues?

Emirates estimates that around 20,000 of its passengers are being inconvenienced for each day that the disruption continues. This is a complex situation which changes by the minute. The longer the situation goes on, the more complicated the recovery becomes.

How are passengers being prioritised?

In terms of the contingency plan, once flights begin operating, we will do our very best to take care of passengers whose trips were first disrupted. We are trying to be fair and reasonable.

Will the cost of tickets increase during this period?

Emirates is not here to take advantage of the situation and will not exploit the crisis to increase fares. Our priority at the moment is to help people and get them to where they need to be. Passengers have been very patient and we are grateful for that. We ask everyone to bear with us.

What is your advice to passengers if they are trying to travel?

As you can imagine, Emirates is receiving a very high volume of calls to our contact centres. We'd ask all customers to go to www.emirates.com for the very latest flight information, which is updated every five minutes. We must stress that passengers should not go to the airport without a confirmed booking.
Passengers who are booked to travel during the next five days may wish to consider if their travel is essential, and possibly cancel their trips to allow those stranded to be accommodated.

What's Emirates' position on the conflicting views over the manner of airspace closures?

Emirates respects the view of the agencies and jurisdictions to which we operate. The process by which we came to have the airspace closures and the scale of those closures needs to be revisited from a scientific perspective. The industry has never been through anything like this before. Only time will tell if this was an overreaction, but the right thing was done under the circumstances as safety cannot be compromised.

Can Emirates financially survive ongoing disruption and will the government step in?

As with previous cases of global trauma, the airline will plot a course out of this. The Government of Dubai will not be involved in financially supporting Emirates.

What about passengers caught in transit in Dubai?

Emirates continues to provide hotel accommodation in Dubai for passengers who were in transit when the disruption began. The airline has stationed support teams within the hotels where our passengers are staying and also set up information boards to ensure customers are kept as up-to-date as possible.

What's the best way to find out the latest on a flight?

As you can imagine, Emirates is receiving a very high volume of calls to our contact centres. We'd ask all customers to go to www.emirates.com for the very latest flight information, which is updated every five minutes. We must stress that passengers should not go to the airport if their flight has been cancelled.

What's the latest on how long this will last?

Emirates is keeping its flying schedule under constant review and will aim to give customers as much notice as possible as information is received from European Air Traffic Control authorities. We are hoping to make some good progress today (21st April) in helping the many passengers who have been held up by the ongoing disruption. The gradual re-opening of UK airspace is a relief and critical to smoothing our Europe operations. Having said that, we have a long way to go before normality returns and it's important that passengers bear with us. We are very grateful for the patience and understanding our customers have displayed so far

What can Emirates do in the meantime?

It's important to understand that this is a complex situation involving tens of thousands of people and becomes more complicated as the days go by. We appreciate how difficult it is for everyone affected. Emirates is working flat out to get flights and passengers moving as quickly as possible as airspace reopens. This includes laying on extra flights and adding seat capacity where possible.

What should affected customers do?

Emirates' passengers affected by the disruption can cancel their booking or change their onward destination without charge. All re-issue and cancellation fees will be waived while the disruption is ongoing. For rebooking or cancellations please call your local Emirates office or contact your travel agent.

What is Emirates' chief concern in all of this?

As always, our primary concern is for the safety of our passengers and crew and this will not be compromised.

What's been said:

"It is an extremely complex situation that changes by the minute. The airline staff - the operational groups and customer services groups - are doing their absolute level best to keep a handle on what is going on. The longer it goes on, the more difficult it is for us to deal with the scale" - Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline

"We are looking at mounting extra sections, special services where we activate all the fleet that we have and get them to places like Heathrow, Frankfurt and Rome as soon as the window of opportunity opens for us. If I can get an A380 to Heathrow with 517 on it then we are starting to ease the pressure" - Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline

"This is the most drastic event to affect aviation in the region in decades" - Richard Vaughan, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide

"This is first time Britain has been closed since World War II. It’s a dramatic disruption.” - Richard Vaughan, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide

"Disruption of this magnitude is unprecedented in aviation history. The longer that it continues, the more complex the recovery process becomes" - Richard Vaughan, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide

"The affects are devastating at a time when Emirates was expecting seat factors of about 87% due to the Easter holidays. If it had happened in May or June it wouldn't have been so bad." Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline.

  • Back to Operational Updates