Emirates spreads its wings further with new routes

Emirates spreads its wings further with new routes

DUBAI - Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, further strengthened its route network with the re-launch of flights to Tripoli from October 29.

By (Muzaffar Rizvi)

Published: Tue 14 Aug 2012, 8:44 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:24 AM

The Dubai-based airline will continue to spread its wings across the globe. Over the next six months, the carrier will launch a further five destinations — Washington, DC on September 12, Adelaide on November 1, Lyon on December 5, Phuket on December 10 and Warsaw on February 6, 2013.

“In resuming our flights to Tripoli, Emirates is underlining its commitment to Libya at a time when the country is demonstrating its strength and resilience in the face of adversity,” Jean Luc Grillet, Emirates senior vice-president for commercial operations for Africa, said in an e-mailed statement to Khaleej Times on Monday.

Tripoli has been part of Emirates’ route network since March 2001, when services were launched with four flights a week. The services remained suspended for almost 18 months following the outbreak of civil unrest in Libya. In June this year, the airline underlined its commitment to Libya with the reopening of its Tripoli town office.

“With Libya’s own airlines under some duress, resumption of services to Tripoli will come as a welcome boon for Libyans that crave access beyond Northern Africa,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times.

The Libyan capital is one of 21 destinations to which Emirates currently flies in Africa. The resumed service will be of particular benefit to passengers with connections within the GCC, Indian Sub-continent and Far East points. On Sunday, the airline launched its Erbil service in Iraq, which is the 11th destination launched this year, boosting its network in Middle East to 16 key cities.

“We have been closely monitoring the situation in Libya and feel that the time is right to re-launch our services, which will help to support business, international trade and passenger travel to and from Tripoli, as well as strengthening the country’s overall infrastructure,” Grillet said.

Under the new schedule, Emirates’ four-weekly flights to Tripoli will leave Dubai every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 9:25am and arrive at Tripoli International Airport at 2:00pm. Flights to and from Tripoli will be served by an Airbus A330-200 in a three-class configuration, offering 12 first class, 42 business class and 183 economy seats, alongside up to 15 tonnes of cargo-carrying capacity.

“While daily services might not be on the cards straightaway, Emirates is keen to offering a variety of high and low fares for customers flying in and out of the Libyan capital, as seen by its decision to use a three-class A330-200 on the route,” Ahmad said.

He said the decision to resume flights to Libya coincides with the country gaining a semblance of political stability given the turmoil seen in 2011.

“Tripoli remains far and away the most business-centric and rich centre of the country and it’s no surprise that Emirates wants to flying back to the Libyan capital,” he said.

With a fleet of 180 aircraft and already the largest A380 operator in the world, with 22 in service, Emirates currently flies to over 120 destinations in 74 countries.


More news from Local Business