One of the world’s most visited countries, Italy, has been brought closer to international travellers after Emirates’ flights to Rome went double daily.
As of today, the airline’s 12 times a week service to the Italian capital becomes twice a day and supplements double daily flights to Milan and a daily flight into Venice.
Passengers travelling between Dubai and Rome will now have the choice of a morning and afternoon flight seven days a week, bringing greater flexibility and convenience.
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & the Russian Federation, said: “We have been strengthening our services to Rome since October of last year, gradually building up to the double daily which kicks off today. We know Rome is a powerful tourism magnet with historical gems such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. But it is also an important business centre, so we’re confident the extra flight will be a success.”
The Lonely Planet travel guide book says of Rome: “No other city comes close. It may no longer be caput mundi (capital of the world), but Rome is an epic, bubbling-over metropolis harbouring lost empires. One visit and you’ll be hooked.”
Mr Obaidalla added: “Italy has benefited from significant investment by Emirates in the last few years. A brand new route was started to Venice in July 2007, we then made Rome and Milan non-stop services, and now we are serving both destinations twice a day. This is excellent news for leisure travellers, the business community and those connecting to and from flights linking the Indian Ocean, Asia, the Far East and Australasia.”
EK097 departs Dubai at 0925hrs and arrives in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 1245hrs. EK098 leaves Rome at 1430hrs and gets into Dubai at 2300hrs.
Alternatively, EK095 takes off from Dubai at 1505hrs and touches down at Fiumicino Airport at 1835hrs. The return sector sees EK096 depart Fiumicino Airport at 2025hrs, landing in Dubai at 0505hrs the following day. The route is served by a combination of Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration.
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) lists Italy as one of the top five visited countries globally, with 2008 figures showing more than 42 million international tourist arrivals.
John Felix, Senior Vice President, Emirates Holidays, said: “We feature select holiday options in Italy in our A World of Choice brochure. Italy is a rich and interesting leisure destination - steeped in history and culture, and offers great shopping as well as cuisine. The warm hospitality of the people also makes it a favourite among leisure travellers, and with Emirates Holidays, they can extend their Emirates experience on the ground.”
In recent weeks, Emirates has been intensifying its activities in Europe. On 1st January, flights to Nice went from five flights a week to daily, further opening up the popular French Riviera. France is also ranked in UNWTO’s top five countries.
Three out of the airline’s four new routes announced so far in 2010 fall in Europe. Amsterdam starts 1st May, Prague begins 1st July and Madrid launches 1st August. In Asia, services to Tokyo start on 28th March.
To support the expansion of services, the airline expects to receive 11 new aircraft during 2010 and is recruiting cabin crew and pilots. Currently, there are 145 aircraft in the fleet, including 8 A380s.