Emirates in major network expansion to the east and west
Emirates is embarking on a major expansion of its route network with three additional destinations to be launched in the next six months, on top of the 12 new routes already being rolled out in 2012.
From 1st November, Emirates will launch four weekly flights to Adelaide, rising to a daily service from 1st February 2013. Adelaide will be the airline’s fifth destination in Australia which is currently served with 70 flights per week.
The airline’s current double-daily service to Perth will grow to 19 weekly flights from 1st December, becoming a triple daily operation from 1st March next year.
On the western side of the globe, the French city of Lyon will be added to the Emirates’ network from 5th December, the carrier’s third point in France after Paris and Nice. Emirates will operate five weekly flights to this vibrant economic and tourism centre of south eastern France.
From 6th February 2013, Emirates will begin flights into Poland, where recently the World bank predicted the highest economic growth in the Central and Eastern European region. The airline will operate a daily service to the capital, Warsaw.
“Emirates is currently in a concentrated and sustained period of global expansion,” said His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group. “The addition of Adelaide to our network and the boost to our Perth operations demonstrates our commitment to investment and growth in our Australian operations and highlights the economic strength and global demand for the two cities as business, leisure and investment destinations. We will also grow capacity to Melbourne with the introduction of daily A380 services in October, in addition to our existing double decker flight into Sydney.”
“Our increased operations into France, linking with Lyon, comes on the heels of our announcing a second A380 service into Paris from 1st January – all of which a response to acute demand for our services to and from this market. Poland continues our exciting push into this region of Europe,” H.H. Sheikh Ahmed added.
Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has already launched nine new destinations so far in 2012; Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Lusaka, Harare, Dallas, Seattle, Ho Chi Minh City and yesterday Barcelona. Lisbon will launch on 9th July, Erbil follows on 12th August and Washington comes on board as of 12th September. At the same, Emirates SkyCargo broadens its reach and support for the world’s importers and exporters by using belly-hold capacity aboard the passenger aircraft.
The airline currently has a fleet of 176 aircraft, including the world’s largest Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 fleet, to 124 destinations – supported globally by more than 60,000 staff.
Analyst Saj Ahmad said: “Emirates expansion across the globe is a natural extension of its airplane buys over the last few years. Ultimately, it is for this sort of aggressive and far reaching growth and increased frequencies why the biggest and most profitable Arab airline opted to buy more Airbus A380s and, last fall, more Boeing 777-300ERs.
“The simple fact is that Emirates is experiencing and trying to cope with unprecedented demand. The only real surprise perhaps, is why the airline has not launched even more new routes. But with nine new routes alone in 2012, with a further three, that we know of, to come, it's clear that this sort of news will become a common theme for the Dubai-based carrier. The near term challenge for the airline will of course be recruitment of new flight crew to operate these new airplanes. Given the relentless growth the carrier is experiencing, getting more people to join the pilot ranks should not be a problem per se, but in a industry where many airlines in the GCC and beyond are all looking for new pilots, mechanics and other talent, Emirates will have to work hard to ensure it has the man power on tap to match its growth ambitions.”
Ahmad concluded: “Despite the huge increase in fuel prices the airline say last year, leading to a 72% fall in profits, Emirates is well on track to stay profitable for the fiscal 2012-13 year.”