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United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator, Emirates Airline, has revealed plans to add almost 1,800 seats per week on its route between Dubai and Munich as the Bavarian destination becomes an exclusive Airbus A380 operation from summer 2014, reflecting the carrier’s steadfast commitment to the German market.
Emirates will now introduce an A380 on the second of its daily flights between its Dubai International Airport hub and Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss Airport from March 30, 2014, having first introduced the type on its other daily rotation in November 2011. Although the carrier temporarily flew both services with the A380 in October this year, the second flight is normally served by a Boeing 777-300ER. The airline confirmed to The HUB that the arrangements for this deployment were finalised at World Routes in Las Vegas.
“This is a significant development for Emirates as Munich is a key airport for us in Germany and in Europe. Passenger demand has been steadily growing and our second A380 will add much needed seat capacity which is essential for us to meet the demand growth of the route and support the expansion of trade, tourism and international investment in Germany,” said Thierry Antinori, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Emirates Airline.
Details of the deployment of the A380 were revealed as Emirates confirmed plans to further develop its passenger operations in Europe and Africa. An interline agreement has been signed with French carrier Corsair international which will permit customers will be able to purchase joint Emirates-Corsair itineraries, providing more convenience connecting between Paris and West Africa.
“This agreement will undoubtedly offer passengers travelling between Dakar and Paris more choice, convenience, value and comfort than ever before,” explained Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice president commercial operations west, Emirates Airline. The carrier operates 20 weekly flights to Paris utilising a mix of its flagship Airbus 380 and Boeing 777, while the Dakar route is serviced with four flights each week operated by an Airbus 340-300.
Elsewhere in Africa, Emirates is preparing for the launch of an enhanced schedule to the Angolan capital Luanda. From December 1, 2013, the airline will boost its flight from Dubai to a daily schedule with the additions of four extra services per week and adding over 1,600 seats per week into the market. Emirates started services to Luanda with three flights per week from October 25, 2009 using an A330-200. To meet increased demand, the aircraft was upgraded a year later to a Boeing 777-200ER and seven months thereafter to the current Boeing 777-300ER.
“The increase in flights to a daily service is a clear indication of the route’s success and its future growth potential,” said said Orhan Abbas, senior vice president, commercial operations Latin America, Central and Southern Africa, Emirates Airline. “Angola is Africa’s second largest oil producer with a strong mining sector, and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, making it an attractive business destination. The time is right to start a daily service and this decision underpins our commitment to Angola.”
The increased frequency will also support Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, which will be able to offer an increased cargo capacity of 120 tonnes per week into Luanda. The growth of Emirates’ passenger operations has a significant impact on its freight business due to the exclusive operation of widebody equipment, which has notable cargo capacity.
The recent launch of Emirates passenger flights to Sialkot, the airline’s fifth route into Pakistan, is a good example of who the cargo business also benefits. The Dubai-Sialkot service is operated four times a week by an A330-200, providing a total weekly cargo capacity of up to 68 tonnes per direction. The new link means Emirates will operate 63 flights a week between Dubai and Pakistan offering 1,400 tonnes of cargo to Pakistan, giving a five per cent boost to cargo capacity.
“With the new service to Sialkot, which is a major manufacturing hub in Pakistan, we are creating a new lane that will give local businesses access to trade opportunities across Emirates SkyCargo global network of more than 130 destinations, particularly in Europe, United States, Australia and the Middle East,” said Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice president, Cargo, Emirates Airline.
Pakistan was the first country on Emirates route network when it launched services to Karachi in 1985. From 2007 until 2012, Emirates carried 108,000 tonnes of cargo on its belly-hold flights to its four gateways in Pakistan: Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Current bilateral trade between the UAE and Pakistan stands at $7.6 billion, indicating the remarkable potential of the new trade route. Today, 27 Emirati companies operate in Pakistan in an array of sectors including telecommunications, banking and aviation. The volume of business through joint ventures stands at US21 billion.
Key Sialkot exports include sports goods and clothing, gloves, surgical instruments, cutlery, ceramics and leather garments, and will be transported to the UAE and throughout Europe, US, Australia and Middle East. In the other direction, raw materials for manufacturing these products will be the leading commodities imported from Europe and the Middle East.