Emirates Airline will ground up to 48 aircraft when one of the two runways at its home hub, Dubai International Airport, is closed for maintenance later this year.

The airline also announced a host of alterations to its schedules, both as a result of the 45-day closure of Dubai’s southern runway from April 16 to May 30 and as it adapts to changing travel demands.

“At Emirates, we pride ourselves on being a customer-focused airline with a commercially driven business model. We … are agile in deploying our aircraft to destinations where it best serves customer demand,” Emirates president Tim Clark said Jan. 12. “The changes we are implementing to our network schedules in 2019 are in line with this approach, taking into consideration global market dynamics and operational limitations, including the maintenance work on Dubai Airport’s Southern Runway.”

During the runway closure, many Emirates flights will be canceled, rescheduled or have the operating aircraft changed in order to reduce impact on customers, the airline said. In addition to up to 48 aircraft not being utilized, there will be a 25% reduction in the number of Emirates’ flights during the 45-day period.

Emirates 272-strong fleet comprises 108 Airbus A380s and 164 Boeing 777-family aircraft, according to its website.

Among the carrier’s plans for route adjustments “to optimize fleet utilization,” Emirates will use its long-range Boeing 777-200LR on daily service to Rio de Janeiro. The aircraft will continue on to Buenos Aires 4X-weekly and to Santiago on the remaining three days.

Alongside this change, Emirates will suspend its flight from Dubai to Santiago via Sao Paulo. The Brazilian city will continue to be served with a daily nonstop Airbus A380 service from Dubai.

Flights to Australia will also be altered to provide what Emirates describes as “more efficient and direct connection options for customers.”

The carrier will suspend flights EK 418/419 between Bangkok and Sydney from June 1, while continuing to serve Sydney 3X-daily nonstop from Dubai. Emirates’ passengers traveling between Bangkok and Sydney will be directed to its partner airline, Qantas

From March 31, Emirates will also suspend its Dubai-Perth EK 424/425 Boeing 777 service and serve Perth with a daily Airbus A380 nonstop from Dubai.

Alan Dron, alandron@adepteditorial.com