United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier Emirates Airline is to further boost its capacity into its first ever market by introducing a sixth daily rotation between its Dubai International Airport hub and Jinnah International Airport in Krachi, Pakistan. The additional flight will be introduced from August 1, 2014 and will be operated using an Airbus A330-200.
Emirates has served Karachi since the carrier was founded in 1985, and in the past decade alone has transported over six million passengers on the route. Karachi is the capital of the province of Sindh, and the largest city in Pakistan. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, north-west of the Indus River Delta, this metropolis is Pakistan’s cultural, economic, educational and political hub, as well as the country’s largest port.
The new service will boost the Emirates offering on the route to 14,185 seats each week with the additional frequency, departing Dubai International Airport at 22:35, timed to connect especially well at Emirates’ hub with services from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Toronto and its US network including New York and Boston.
“Emirates has had a long standing relationship with the city of Karachi, being the first destination we flew to on our launch day, 25th October 1985. Over the years we have steadily increased the frequency we have served the city, leading to today’s announcement that we are adding a sixth daily service”, said Ahmed Khoory, senior vice president, commerical operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean, Emirates Airline.
Karachi is amongst the few cities Emirates serves with six daily services, with Bangkok and Doha being the only other two. “This increase is in response to the demand from passengers and our cargo customers we have seen on the route and Emirates is pleased to be able to meet this need,” added Khoory.
The Dubai – Karachi market is highly competitive and sees Emirates operate alongside its sister business, flydubai, and the Pakistan carriers airblue, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Shaheen International Airlines. UAE operator Air Arabia also links Karachi with Sharjah, while Etihad Airways and PIA also provide links between the Pakistan city and Abu Dhabi. According to confirmed 2013 schedules, Emirates has a 69.2 per cent share of capacity on the Dubai – Karachi route and 58.8 per cent of the total UAE – Karachi seat inventory.
In our analysis, below, we look in greater detail at O&D demand between Dubai and Karachi, a market that has grown at an average annual rate of 8.4 per cent between 2004 and 2013. Interestingly, thanks to capacity growth, Emirates has actually been able to maintain its share of demand during this period at around 53 per cent despite its sister business flydubai securing its own 16.5 per cent share of the demand since its 2010 debut on the route.