Emirates to operate Dubai-Hyderabad flights thrice a day

May 22nd, 2008 - 4:28 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, May 22 (IANS) Emirates, the international airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plans to increase the frequency of its Dubai-Hyderabad flight to thrice a day. With a world-class international airport operational here and the passenger traffic on the Gulf route growing by leaps and bounds, Emirates has decided to increase the frequency. It presently operates 11 flights per week.

“Over the next 6 months, Emirates will increase the frequency to 21 flights per week. This means that the airline will operate three flights a day - morning, evening and night,” A. Viswanath, chief commercial officer, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), told IANS.

Emirates had launched its daily flight from Dubai to Hyderabad July 1, 2001.

RGIA, which completed two months of commercial operations Thursday, is witnessing a rapid growth in passenger and air traffic thanks to the state-of-the-art facilities.

The country’s first greenfield airport in public private partnership, which has come up at Shamshabad, about 30 km from the city, is set to register a boom in passenger traffic in the coming months, especially from the Gulf.

The business and tourism between Hyderabad and the Gulf is increasing. The state also has a huge work force employed in the region.

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, will be the first airline to introduce flights to the new airport. It will commence daily flights to Hyderabad from July 1 with A320 aircraft.

A team of officials from Gulf Air visited the airport Wednesday and were pleased with the facilities here. “They have already requested the ministry of civil aviation to allow them to operate two flights daily,” said Viswanath.

RGIA is also in talks with Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi for operating Abu Dhabi-Hyderabad flights.

“There is tremendous potential for the growth of air traffic from Gulf countries due to better facilities at the new airport,” he said.

Passengers on the Gulf sector account for 45 percent of the total 2.4 million international passengers per annum.

The passenger and air freight traffic to other destinations are also increasing rapidly and various international airlines have shown interest in making Hyderabad their hub. “Talks are on with various airlines to make RGIA their hub for passengers and cargo,” Viswanath said.

The British Airways will launch flights from Heathrow to Hyderabad from October 27. There will be five flights each week on a Boeing 777 aircraft.

“In 50 days, we clocked one million passengers. The air traffic increased by 14 percent and the passenger traffic by 16 percent,” said Viswanath. Usually, the passenger traffic increases during summer by 8 percent.

Presently, 21 airlines (11 international and 10 domestic) serve over 35 destinations from RGIA.

The developers claim that they have all the essentials required by airlines to make it as their hub. Developed over 5,400 acres, the airport has the longest runway (4,260 meters) in South East Asia.

“Pilots feel that facilities like radar, air traffic movement, Communications and Navigation Surveillance (CNS) are comparable to the best in the world,” said Viswanath.

The number of flights per hour has gone up from 15-18 at the old airport at Begumpet to 21-25 now. The old airport was handling 218 flights every day, but now the number has gone up to 248 including 28 international flights.

Built at a cost of Rs.25 billion, the airport is claimed to be India’s first truly world-class airport, offering facilities on par with Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore airports.

The airport, which will handle 12 million passengers per annum in the first phase, is designed to have an ultimate capacity of 40 million passengers and one million tonnes of cargo per annum.

In part B of the first phase, RGIA will handle 20 million passengers. “We will review the passenger forecast for the next five years. The expansion plans will be finalized next year,” Viswanath said.

The developers expect 20 to 22 percent annual growth in the next five years. The number of passengers is expected to go up from existing 7 million to 8.4 million per annum in the first year of operations.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |