Emirates adds 18 flights to Indian operations (Lead, Changing dateline)

June 12th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai/Mumbai, June 12 (IANS) Emirates airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced Thursday it will significantly increase its operations to India starting July 1 with 18 new flights. The airline will expand its operations with the additional flights per week to New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, taking its total flights to India to 132 per week, according to an Emirates statement.

This will be the highest frequency by any international carrier to India.

The new services are being strategically timed to cater to the ensuing holiday season and will also help improve cargo tonnage to over 300 tonnes per week, Emirates Airline vice president for India and Nepal, Orhan Abbas, announced in Mumbai .

In Dubai, Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ senior vice-president, commercial operations, for West Asia and Indian Ocean, said in the statement: “Having fuelled strong economic and trade ties between the Middle East and India since the start of its services in 1985, Emirates is well-poised to support India’s blistering growth in the 21st century with its efficient, reliable and increased air links.”

“The additional flights have been introduced at an opportune time and will support the growing demand for air connections during the summer season as thousands of Indian expatriates head home for their annual holidays,” he added.

There are around 1.5 million expatriate Indians in the UAE.

According to the new schedule, following the recent introduction of a second daily flight to New Delhi, Emirates is going to introduce four additional weekly frequencies to the Indian capital, one each on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, starting July 2.

“The enhanced capacity will provide corporate travellers smooth connections to international business hubs such as New York, London, Frankfurt, and Paris via Dubai,” the airline said, adding that this would also offer more flight options to north India’s holiday seekers and students travelling to North America, Britain, Switzerland and Mauritius.

The airline is going to introduce seven new flights to Bangalore. While two of these will be introduced in July, the remaining five will be introduced in October.

This will take its total number of flights to the south Indian city to 15 a week.

The airline will progressively increase its Hyderabad service to 18 flights a week by October 1.

Close on the heels of its recent commitment to introduce a second daily operation to New Delhi, Emirates will introduce four additional weekly flights - on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays - from July 2.

“The additional flights have been timed to provide the city’s business and leisure travellers with quick connections to onward points in Europe and North America,” the Emirates statement said.

The new flights will be operated by Boeing 777 and Airbus A330-200 aircraft in two and three-class configurations, and will add over 5,900 seats on the airline’s Indian routes.

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