As a new sixth daily flight was launched by Emirates Airline between Dubai and London Heathrow this week, the Gulf carrier was putting the finishing touches to the announcement of an additional daily rotation into London Gatwick, boosting its London network to ten daily flights and UK network to 19 daily flights covering six destinations. The airline’s UK presence is its largest country operation outside of its home base and London the busiest single destination it links to Dubai.
The airline will add the fourth daily rotation between its Dubai International Airport hub and London’s Gatwick Airport from October 1, 2016. The additional flight will be operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER configured with 360-seats: eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 seats in Economy.
Emirates started serving London Gatwick in July 1987 and since then says that over ten million passengers have travelled on the route. “As a global hub for finance, business and tourism, London attracts travellers from all over the world," said Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice president, commercial operations, West, Emirates Airline. "With British expats forming the largest western community in Dubai, it’s not surprising to witness continued strong demand for travel between Dubai and the five cities we currently serve in the UK."
The confirmation of the new flight followed the launch this week of a sixth daily service into London Heathrow. This rotation is initially being flown using a 777-300ER but is due to switch to an A380 from June 1, 2016. The airline has also this week introduced the Super Jumbo on one of its flights into Birmingham, significantly growing its capacity into the Midlands market in the process.
Elsewhere in the UK, the airline also provides a three times daily link to Manchester (with two flights operated by the A380), a three times daily flight to Birmingham (the A380 made its debut in the market this past week), a twice daily operation to Glasgow and a daily rotation to Newcastle. All additional flights are scheduled to be flown using 777-300ER equipment.
Emirates next year celebrates 30 years of serving the UK market having first introduced flights between a very different looking Dubai International Airport and London Gatwick in 1987, its first route to Europe. Back then its Dubai hub was handling just a couple of million passengers per annum but has now grown to be the world’s largest international airport with more than 70 million passengers using the facility annually.
Our analysis of data from intelligence provider, OAG, shows the amazing growth of Emirates in the UK market, and in particular London, by highlighting its annual capacity to the country over the past ten years. Through new destinations, most recently Newcastle, additional frequencies and the deployment of larger aircraft the carrier has grown UK capacity by 76.9 per cent between 2006 and 2015, an average annual rise of 8.5 per cent. This rate of growth will be exceeded in the current calendar year with a 12.8 percent capacity rise already in place ahead of this latest route announcement, based on published schedules.