Coronavirus Impact: Air Travel May Return to Normal by 2021 Summer, says Emirates President

June 2, 2020

The president of Dubai-based Emirates airline, Sir Tim Clark, says air travel is likely to return to normal in summer 2021, hoping that vaccine will be discovered in the first quarter of next year.

"As long as this virus doesn't go on for too long, we will go about our lives and see things going back to normalcy in June 2021. If we get the vaccine by Q1 2021, we have a fighting chance and my bet is on that. There will be quite a large uptick from summer next year for the medium and long-haul airlines," he said.

"There could be an uptick if vaccine for the new coronavirus is found. But next six to nine months will be tough for the airline industry," he said during a webinar organised by Arabian Travel Market.

"People are anxious to get back to their lives. This will be difficult period due to salary cuts and furloughs which is going to dampen demand in the short term. Once we enter 2021, things will change," he added.

The Emirates president expects that the airline can take around 3-4 years to rebuild its network at the same level as it was prior to Covid-19.

"I think probably by the year 2022-23 or 2023-24, we will see things coming back to some degree of normality and Emirates will be operating its network as it was and hopefully as successfully as it was," he said.

He also hoped that tourists will return to Dubai again from next month.

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