Emirates hopes to boost the frequency of its Dublin-Dubai flights to once a day from four times a week by the end of the year, says the airline's country manager Enda Corneille.
The Gulf carrier now flies four times a week from the Republic’s capital to Dubai, with solid passenger numbers aided by cargo traffic between the two cities.
“As we get to December and Christmas we hope to get that up to daily,” Mr Corneille said on Wednesday.
He explained that increased frequencies from Dublin would partly depend on more transfer destinations opening up to travel, as passengers from the Republic use Dubai to connect to flights to Asia and the Pacific rim.
Australia and New Zealand, two of the most popular destinations for Irish people travelling with Emirates, are likely to be closed until early next year. Cities such as Hong Kong and Bangkok are opening up, but not to tourists.
The importance of cargo to Emirates’ Irish service has increased, and helps to ensure that flights cover their costs.
The Boeing 777 craft flown by Emirates on the route are carrying food, dairy, pharmaceutical and medical technology exports on the way out.
They are also returning with food and, increasingly, the face masks that public health rules require people to wear in many situations. In the spring, Emirates’ craft flew tonnes of personal protective equipment here.
Mr Corneille said that passenger numbers were solid. “We are holding our own,” he noted. He pointed out that abiding by public health advice meant airlines could not promote their flights.
“My own view is that travel will return, maybe with Covid passports and masks being a feature – people get used to this stuff,” he said. “I don’t agree with the argument that Teams and Zoom meetings will replace face-to-face.”