In the year 2003, the Dubai-based international carrier Emirates is planning to add 11 new aircraft to its fleet and increase seating capacity by 25 percent, allowing it to start four new routes, add more flights on current routes and launch new inflight services and products.
Daily nonstop Emirates flights from Dubai to Sydney start October 26, with the first deliveries of a new aircraft, the ultra long-range Airbus A340-500. This will cut travel time to Australia's major city, not only from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but from gateways in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Also on October 26, Emirates will launch daily wide-bodied Boeing 777-300 services to Brisbane via Singapore, giving it its fourth Australian route after Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Emirates plans to start services to Moscow from July 1, to Shanghai August 2 and to Lagos from December 1, subject to government approval. Next year, Emirates’ global expansion will take another step by launching services to North America. Airbus A340-500s will start non-stop flights to New York from April 1, 2004, and to San Francisco from summer 2004. From this autumn, the first A340-500s will also serve Osaka, Japan, four times a week and will allow Emirates to serve London Gatwick three times a day.
For the past three years Emirates has worked on a project to develop new First Class seats, that will “re-benchmark industry standards," according to a company press release. They will appear on Emirates’ A340-500s from September.
Business Class seats on these aircraft will also be improved, and inflight entertainment in every cabin on the A340-500 will undergo an upgrade, in Economy as well as in First and Business Class. Customers will be entertained with a Video On Demand system with a choice of 150 films and 100 audio channels.
In a total revision of its current timetable, Emirates will start double daily services from Dubai to Munich from March 31, to Tehran from May 1, to Manchester from June 1, to Muscat from July 1 and to Hong Kong from October 26. Frequency increases include three extra flights to Nairobi, Kenya, from March 30, bringing the total to 10 a week and rising to double daily by July 1.
Founded in 1985, Emirates will operate a fleet of 56 aircraft by March 31, 2004. It is now among the world's six most profitable and 20 largest international airlines. A dedicated Emirates terminal at Dubai International Airport is set to open in 2005 and the first of the airline’s 22 double-decker A380s is scheduled to arrive in 2006. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )