Sister Cities Shanghai and Dubai are set to come even closer when Emirates launches its second daily service to Shanghai on 1st February 2008.
Emirates launched passenger services to Shanghai in April 2004 and received a rousing welcome from both passengers and the travel trade alike. The demand on the route began on a strong note and continued to grow steadily thereafter, with seat load factors consistently above 90 per cent - a dream run for any international airline.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide said:
‘Emirates’ current daily service to Shanghai has been exceptionally successful and we are an airline of choice right across our customer spectrum - both passenger and trade. From Shanghai, we currently offer excellent connections to Africa and Europe; the route is served by state-of-the-art aircraft; and we offer culturally-sensitive services - from cabin crew who speak the language to Chinese food. And we intend to repeat our successful business model on the route.”
‘We are confident that the second service to Shanghai will taste the same phenomenal success given our experience; the continued dominance of the Chinese economy; and Shanghai’s increasing appeal to business and leisure travellers from around Emirates’ worldwide network. We are seeing a sharp increase in demand since the UAE and Chinese governments have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate travel for Chinese tourist groups to the UAE.’
Shanghai is a much-sought-after destination among tourists for its popular art and ancient culture; its ultra-modern architectural landmarks such as Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower; the nightlife on the Bund, and the extensive shopping arcades. As a nerve centre for trade, commerce and business, the city is a must-visit destination for executives who conduct, or intend to conduct, business with China.
Trade and tourism ties between China and Dubai have grown significantly stronger in the past few years. Since Emirates’ launch to Shanghai, the number of Chinese hotel visitors in Dubai has more than doubled from 32,265 in 2004 to 68,504 in 2006. Trade ties are worth billions of dollars, and in 2006 China grabbed the top spot among Dubai’s importing countries, nudging India to second place. Dubai imported US$7.6 billion worth of Chinese goods and exported in excess of US$134 million to China.
Emirates’ second daily will be served by the airline’s wide-bodied, plush Airbus A340-300 with 267 seats in a three-class configuration - 12 seats in First Class, 42 in Business and 213 in Economy - offering 13 tonnes of cargo capacity. On Tuesdays, the service will be operated by an Airbus A330-200, with 12 seats in First Class, 42 in Business and 183 in Economy.
The new service EK304 will provide passengers a convenient choice of timings, departing Dubai in the morning at 10:35 hours to reach Shanghai at 22:25 hours. The return flight EK305 departs Shanghai at 06:15 hours to reach Dubai at 12:50 hours.
Emirates currently operates a Boeing 777-300ER daily to Shanghai offering 364 seats in a three-class configuration - 12 seats in First Class, 42 in Business and 310 in Economy - and 23 tonnes of belly-hold capacity.
Emirates SkyCargo also operates six weekly Boeing 747-400F freighter services to Shanghai, offering a capacity of 120 tonnes each.
Every year, Emirates supports the interests of the city’s sporting community as Official Airline of the high-profile BMW Asian Open in Shanghai. The Emirates branding will also be prominent at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007, being held in September this year.
In China, besides Shanghai, Emirates also serves Beijing with a double daily service, and Hong Kong with 17 weekly passenger flights and 13 weekly freighter services.