Emirates has announced it is to launch services to Sialkot, its fifth route to Pakistan.
The service will commence from November 5th 2013 with four weekly flights operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class configuration - 54 seats in Business Class and 183 in Economy Class.
The aircraft can carry up to 17 tonnes of cargo, giving a boost to trade opportunities.
Sialkot is the capital of Sialkot District located in the north-east of the Punjab province in Pakistan.
Situated around 125 kilometres north of Lahore, it provides customers with a convenient alternative gateway to the Export Triangle of Pakistan – the area encompassing Gujrat, Sialkot and Gujranwala.
The area is famous for producing and exporting sports goods and clothing, gloves, surgical instruments, cutlery, ceramics and leather garments, while imports to the region focus on the supply of raw materials for manufacturing those products.
“Pakistan was the first country on our route network when we launched services to Karachi in 1985”, said Barry Brown, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president commercial operations east.
“With the addition of this fifth destination the airline will operate 63 flights a week between Dubai and Pakistan.
“Twenty eight years since our first flight, this new service to Sialkot continues to demonstrate the strong ties between the two countries and reinforces Dubai as a conveniently located hub for onward travel on Emirates’ network of 134 destinations.
“Besides boosting global trade and economic opportunities, this new route will provide additional travel options to Pakistanis wanting to connect with friends, families and colleagues worldwide.”
Sialkot International Airport, which opened in 2007, boasts the longest runway in Pakistan at 3,600 metres and was wholly funded by the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce.
“As the first privately funded airport in Pakistan, we welcome Emirates’ decision to commence operations to the city”, said Sheikh Abdul Majid, president, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce.
“Sialkot will be able to offer Emirates’ passengers another point of entry into Pakistan in a modern, conveniently located and accessible airport.”
Emirates flight EK620 will depart Dubai at 04:15 and arrive in Sialkot at 08:20 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The return flight EK621 will leave Sialkot at 09:45, arriving in Dubai at 12:35.