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Gulf carrier Emirates on Sunday said that it is looking forward to operating at its full capacity in India once the conditions permit. Currently, Emirates serves nine destinations in India, utilising its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. These services are being operated under the air bubble arrangement between India and UAE.

"Given the latest developments, we are in close contact with the local authorities, and we look forward to operating at full capacity once conditions allow us to do so," Emirates Vice President, India and Nepal, Mohammad Sarhan said.

Under an air bubble agreement between two countries, international passenger flights can be operated by their respective carriers to each other's territories subject to certain conditions. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, India suspended the scheduled international commercial flights in March 2020. Since July last year, the overseas flights have been operating under bilateral air bubble agreements with various countries. India has air bubble agreements with 34 countries as per the civil aviation ministry website.

Sarhan said the airline has ramped up flight frequencies globally and expects to return to profitability over the next 18 months. "In line with the easing of travel restrictions worldwide, we've ramped up flight frequencies across our network and deployed our iconic A380 aircraft on 25 destinations. "We're well on the path to recovery. We've restored 90% of our pre-pandemic network, and we expect to return to profitability over the next 18 months," he added.

On the issue of carbon emission, the Emirates vice president said that the airline has made efforts and that it operates a young and modern aircraft fleet with an average age of 6.5 years.

Emirates is also a member of the Clean Skies for Tomorrow coalition, established by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is supporting a transition to SAF as part of a pathway towards carbon-neutral flying, he said and listed various other measures, including using sustainably-made blankets, 28 plastic bottles for economy class passengers on long haul flights.

(With PTI inputs)

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