Signalling yet another expansion of its Indian operations, Dubai-based airline, Emirates, will be adding 31 weekly flights to its existing service in India between now and February 2009. The award-winning carrier has embarked on its second major expansion campaign for India in 2008, and the enhanced capacity will reaffirm Emirates’ status as the single largest international carrier in the Indian skies, operating 163 weekly flights to 10 gateways.
The expansion will be implemented in a phased manner and key cities – Mumbai and New Delhi – will be the main beneficiaries. Important commercial hubs including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi will also be served with additional frequencies.
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West Asia, Indian Ocean and Africa noted: “Owing to the liberalisation of the Indian skies and growing demand for air travel, Emirates is extending its presence in India. Our winter expansion - the single largest growth in our operations - closely follows the extension of services in the summer of this year, and represents our commitment to the market and our confidence in its potential.”
“The additional frequencies have been timed to offer passengers more consistent schedules and seamless connections to onward points in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East.”
Effective 1st February 2009 Emirates will serve Mumbai with a fifth-daily operation, providing the city’s burgeoning business and leisure traffic with a service almost every five hours. The enhanced capacity – 35 flights per week – will provide corporate travellers smooth connections to global business hubs via Dubai. Cargo capacity on the route will increase to 641 tonnes per week.
Following on from its recent introduction of seven additional services, Emirates will further boost its footprint in New Delhi with the launch of seven additional frequencies with immediate effect. The Indian capital city which was initially served by 18 weekly flights will have a total weekly frequency of 25 flights per week post expansion.
Cargo movement will also gain momentum as the increased capacity will support the export of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, garments, chemicals, meat, fruits and vegetables to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and America. The additional flights will boost weekly cargo capacity to 389 tonnes.
The Dubai-Bangalore operation will be strengthened with the start of five additional flights between now and February 2009, bringing its total frequency to 20 weekly flights. The enhanced capacity will provide smooth connections to Emirates’ massive international network, particularly at a time when the IT hub seeks to diversify its export portfolio and target new markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Far East.
It will also provide significant thrust to cargo movement from Bangalore which exports electronic hardware, engineering goods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fruits, vegetables, and readymade garments to the Gulf, Africa, Europe and America.
Chennai – one of India’s largest metropolitan cities and home to a large proportion of cargo exports such as textiles and garments, electrical and electronic goods, machinery, leather products, pharmaceuticals, and perishables – is also set to receive enhanced capacity. With immediate effect Emirates will introduce four additional flights per week and in the next phase of expansion in February 2009 one more flight will be added, bringing the total weekly count to 19 flights.
Kochi - the commercial centre of the Indian state of Kerala - experiences significant business traffic and cargo movement. Currently operating 10 flights per week, Emirates will introduce a double-daily operation by launching two additional flights per week with immediate effect, and adding another two flights in February 2009.
To Hyderabad, Emirates will introduce three additional flights per week; two flights are added with immediate effect, and one flight will be introduced in December. Post expansion Emirates will serve the city with a triple-daily operation.