Earlier this week, finally Japan caught up with the rest of the world (well, most of it) and fully reopened its doors to visitors for the first time since the pandemic first became a thing. Now, as demand for travel to Japan starts to spike, airlines are rushing to meet that demand in whatever way they can.
We've known for a few weeks that United Airlines and Emirates were going to be announcing a closer working relationship but it was only in the last 24 hours that full details finally emerged and, to be frank, they're a little underwhelming. A new route that is being born out of this relationship may interest some readers but on the whole, anyone expecting something exciting will almost certainly be disappointed.
In recent years, a number of airlines have stopped offering dedicated services for unaccompanied minors but Emirates appears to be bucking that trend with the announcement of a new Dubai lounge for the exclusive use of young passengers who are traveling solo.
It wasn't long after we started seeing signs that Australia was starting to open up that Emirates scheduled an A380 to taker over its route to Sydney and now, in a further sign that airlines are increasingly confident that travel to Oz will be a lot more 'normal' in the near future, Emirates is set to return the A380 to Melbourne as well.
Pre-pandemic, Emirates often operated over 30 weekly flights between Dubai and Bangkok so it's a sign of the times that only 13 weekly flights are operating right now. Still, demand for travel to Bangkok is clearly picking up as Emirates is adding more flights to the Thai capital and bringing back the A380 on this route.
This week's Dubai Air Show had already given us a couple of pieces of good news (here & here) when we heard Emirates confirm that it will upgrade over 100 of its aircraft with its new Premium Economy cabin, but a more important piece of news (for premium cabin flyers) that came out at the same time was the news that Emirates may finally upgrade its sub-par Business Class cabins.
Emirates has used this week's Dubai Airshow to announce that following the success that it has seen with the limited rollout of its new Premium Economy cabin, it is committing to installing the cabin on a further 105 aircraft starting next year.
Since the beginning of the year, we've seen Emirates announce the resumption of services between Dubai and various US cities that saw their non-stop ties to Dubai cut when the pandemic first took hold. Now the airline tells us that it's ready to go one step further by launching a completely new route to the US - to Miami.
In January Emirates announced that it was restarting operations to Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth, and San Francisco, in February it announced that its Athens-Newark route would return in June, two days ago it announced that it was restarting its Orlando route, and now the airline has confirmed that a favorite 5th freedom route is also coming back.
With the UAE's vaccination program going very well and with the United States aiming to have given most of its population at least one of two vaccine doses by June, Emirates has decided that it's prudent to bring back one more of its routes that was suspended almost as soon as pandemic was declared.