2006 will see Emirates strengthen its presence in the Middle East region with scheduled enhancements to its operations in Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Following the Kuwait government’s decision to open up its skies, Emirates will introduce five additional flights per week to the oil-rich state starting 1st July. Earlier in the year, the Dubai-based airline had boosted its operations to Kuwait by adding two weekly flights on the route, effective 26th March.
Operated by the modern, twin-aisle Airbus A330-200, the additional flights will provide better connectivity to Europe. Kuwait’s business travellers also stand to gain as the new flights will make one-day business trips to Dubai more convenient with early morning arrivals into the emirate and same-day late night departures to Kuwait.
Post enhancements Emirates’ will serve Kuwait with 23 flights per week, operated by a mixed fleet comprising Boeing 777-200, Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A310 aircraft.
On 26th March, the airline also added one flight to Amman to serve the city 10 times a week.
In a move that will strengthen the airline’s presence in Saudi Arabia, Emirates will introduce a sixth weekly service to Jeddah and Riyadh from 1st May; and will also upgrade its existing Saturday service on the Dubai-Riyadh route by introducing the larger capacity Boeing 777-200 from 1st October.
Riyadh’s sixth weekly service will be operated by the Airbus A330-200 aircraft equipped with 27 First and 251 Economy class seats, and nearly 14 tonnes of cargo carrying capacity.
To Jeddah, Emirates will operate the technologically advanced and wide-bodied Boeing 777-200, designed to offer a high standard of comfort and spaciousness. The aircraft’s interiors which have been modelled to Emirates’ high standards will initially offer 42 First and 304 Economy Class seats, which will be enhanced to 42 First and 385 Economy Class seats from 1st October.
Emirates’ operations into Saudi Arabia will encompass 17 flights into three gateways.
Hamad Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercials, Middle East said:
“Economic boom in the Middle East triggered by accelerated growth in the region’s business, finance and real estate industries, has brought about an increased demand for travel. Emirates’ additional capacities will serve the growing business and trade volumes between Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.”
He added: ‘Increased frequencies and aircraft enhancements will also facilitate travel for scores of Indian sub-continent nationals who reside in the Middle East and visit home each year.’
He noted: ‘The Dubai-based airline’s presence in the Middle East has been on a consistent fast-track ever since the airline launched global operations in 1985. Emirates flew to its first Middle East gateway other than Dubai, in 1986 when it launched operations to Amman. Today, Emirates serves 12 cities in the Middle East with 140 flights offering approximately 4.5 million seats.”