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Emirates resumes flights to Singapore from 17 Jun

Emirates expands list of destinations served to 29 cities as UAE starts accepting transit passengers again

Middle East carrier Emirates will commence flights to an additional 16 cities starting 15 Jun, as the country starts opening up its airport to transit passengers again, paving the way for connecting passengers between Asia and the rest of the world.

At the height of the coronavirus situation, the airline maintained a handful of destinations from UAE, although these links mainly serve foreigners who with to leave UAE and return to their home countries.

Full list of destinations served from mid June

Since this week, Emirates has begun slowly reintroducing flights to some destinations, including Pakistan, the Philippines, with the largest lot of 16 other cities from 15 Jun. The full list of destinations that Emirates will serve after 15 Jun, is as follow:

Asia/AustralasiaMiddle EastEuropeAmericas
Currently
operating
Melbourne
Sydney
Frankfurt
London-Heathrow
Madrid
Milan
Paris
Chicago
Toronto
From 8 JunLahore
Karachi
Islamabad
From 11 JunManila
From 15 JunHong Kong
Jakarta
Kuala Lumpur
Seoul
Singapore
Taipei
Perth
Brisbane
BahrainAmsterdam
Copenhagen
Dublin
Manchester
Vienna
Zurich
New York JFK

Emirates operating to Singapore three times a week in June; more in July

From Singapore, Emirates will be operating three times weekly to Dubai, with the first flight departing Dubai for Singapore on 17 Jun, and returning on 18 Jun.

SectorFlight no.Days of opsDepArrFlight timeAircraft
Singapore – DubaiEK353Thu, Sat, Sun005004157h 25mBoeing 777-300ER
Dubai – SingaporeEK352Wed, Fri, Sat102522007h 35mBoeing 777-300ER
Emirates schedule between Singapore and Dubai, June 2020

In the month of July, this goes up to eight flights a week for the first half of the month, before bumping up to twice daily for the remainder of the month.

SectorFlight no.Days of opsDepArrFlight timeAircraft
Singapore – DubaiEK353See below005004157h 25mBoeing 777-300ER
EK355See below21400050(+1)7h 10mBoeing 777-300ER
Dubai – SingaporeEK354See below030515007h 55mBoeing 777-300ER
EK352See below092020557h 35mBoeing 777-300ER
Emirates schedule between Singapore and Dubai, July 2020

The dates which all the flights will be operating in July, as shown in the calendar below:

MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
12345
SIN-DXB
EK355

EK355
EK353
EK355
EK353
DXB-SINEK354
EK354

EK352
EK354
EK352

EK352
6789101112
SIN-DXBEK353
EK353
EK355

EK355
EK353
EK355
EK353
DXB-SINEK354

EK352
EK354
EK354

EK352
EK354
EK352

EK352
13141516171819
SIN-DXBEK353
EK353
EK355
EK353
EK355
EK353
EK355
EK353
EK355
EK353
EK355
DXB-SINEK354

EK352
EK354
EK352
EK354
EK352
EK354
EK352
EK354
EK352
EK354
EK352
20212223242526
SIN-DXBEK353
EK355
DXB-SINEK354
EK352
2728293031
SIN-DXBEK353
EK355
DXB-SINEK354
EK352

Emirates will be operating its Boeing 777-300ER to Singapore for the time being – at least until the end of July. While the aircraft does not have the famous in-flight bar or the first class showers found on the A380s, Emirates will be operating the newest versions of its 777s, featuring the brand-new first class suites.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER new first class (photo: Emirates)

The downside to this aircraft is the seat configuration in business class, laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration, which means that there’s always a chance in getting a middle seat. Having said that, I highly doubt all the seats will be taken up during this time, so if I’m travelling during this period of time, I’ll be less worried about social distancing.

Not all destinations can be connected from Singapore – at least for June

Given the limited days of week that Emirates is operating into Singapore in June, connections are only possible to the following:

DestinationFrom SingaporeTo Singapore
Amsterdam1x weekly1x weekly (overnight connection)
Copenhagen1x weekly1x weekly (overnight connection)
Dublin1x weeklyNo connection
Frankfurt3x weekly3x weekly (overnight connection)
London-Heathrow3x weekly3x weekly
Paris3x weekly3x weekly (overnight connection)
Madrid1x weekly (7hr connection)1x weekly (7hr connection)
Milan2x weekly1x weekly (overnight connection)
Vienna3x weekly1x weekly (overnight connection)
Zurich2x weekly3x weekly (overnight connection)
Chicago1x weekly1x weekly (overnight connection)
New York JFK2x weekly2x weekly (overnight connection)
TorontoNo connection1x weekly (22hr connection)

The connections will significantly improve when July rolls around, with most connections available at least three days a week, although some long connection remains.

As you can see from the table above, the connections aren’t ideal in the few couple of weeks. Given Emirates’ scheduling of having all European flights departing Dubai in the mornings, you are looking at a minimum three-hour connection when you depart from Singapore. On the return flight it’s worse: practically every flight will require an overnight (at least 10 hours) connection in Dubai.

But then again, these services are meant for essential travel at the moment and not for mass travel, so if you really need to fly, the wait will matter not as much, but note that the Emirates lounges will be closed (at least for now).

Emirates suspended services to Singapore since March

The Middle East kingdom has banned visitors since mid-March, as well as forbidding citizens from travelling overseas.

Emirates has previously flew to Dubai four times daily, and also operates two daily fifth freedom services to Melbourne and Brisbane respectively. The Melbourne service was suspended on 22 Mar, while flights to Dubai was also suspended slightly more than a week later.

Unrelated to Covid-19, Emirates has applied last year to end the Singapore-Brisbane service on 30 Mar, but end date was brought forward to 14 Mar instead.

What to expect pre-flight and in-flight?

Emirates has also announced a comprehensive list of changes to its pre-, in- and post-flight experience, including:

  • Chauffeur drive: Emirates has suspended its chauffeur drive service around the world until July 2020.
  • Lounges: All lounges worldwide are closed until further notice.
  • In-flight meals experience:
    • Special meals: A limited range of special meals can still be pre-ordered online 48 hours before flight. No children’s meal will be available in economy.
    • Menu cards: A single-use menu will be provided in business and first; no menus in economy.
    • Meal service: While business class and first class will still get multi-course dine on-demand meal services, Executive Traveller has reported that meals will be pre-plated and served on tray, and some items such as bread and crackers will be plastic wrapped
    • Alcoholic beverage service: Welcome drink only in first class; no more cocktails in business and first class (mixed drinks still available); Only wine & beer available in economy.
  • Wifi: No free wifi for the time being. Wifi is still available for purchase.
  • Duty-free shopping: Not available
  • Children’s kit: Not available
  • Newspapers & magazines: Not available
  • Live TV: Not available

Final thoughts

The resumption of Emirates services to Singapore is yet another encouraging sign of recovery. I won’t hold my breath in waiting for the A380s to return, given that the Boeing 777-300ERs that Emirates is operating is good enough any day.

During this time, many airlines will understandably operate with significant modifications to their services in response to the threat of infection. While some changes – such as in-flight dining changes – erode the magical experience of flying even further, these changes are essential to instil confidence in air travel at least for now.

Having said that, my view is that this might be a good time for airlines to fully re-evaluate what’s truly necessary, even in premium cabins, and do their part in reducing waste in many areas, particularly around magazines, newspapers and even menu cards. In the long run, this episode might yield some positive results for airlines, customers and god knows, even the earth.

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