At a time when most domestic and international carriers are rationalising routes to cut costs, Dubai-based carrier Emirates is planning more flights to India to cater to rising demand from the Indian business and tourism sectors. The carrier is also awaiting clearances from the government to fly its Airbus A380 aircraft to Delhi and Mumbai. "We are ready to open more points to India. There are insufficient capacities out of India to meet rising demand from business and middle class travellers," said Tim Clark, President, Emirates.
At present, Emirates operates from 10 locations in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi and Kozhikode. "We have high-seat factors in and out of many Indian points. As many carriers are reducing capacities, such as Lufthansa, we need to replace those capacities," Clark said at Dublin after the launch of the daily-flight service between Dubai and Ireland, last week, according to a report by The Financial Express.
Clark ruled out any possibilities of acquiring Indian carriers facing financial difficulties. "We are merchants of the organic school with the exception of the 40 per cent stake we bought in Sri Lankan Airlines in 1998," he said. He said Emirates would continue to cater to the million plus Indians in Dubai besides the rising business communities by providing more flights on the routes. "Many businessmen travel to Dubai frequently, while there is a huge workforce from Kerala in the Gulf region due to which most flights to Kochi and Calicut operate at full capacities. There is healthy demand on Indian routes," Clark said.
The daily service to Dublin is the third new route to be added to Emirates' route network this year following the launch of flights to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 3, 2012. "For Emirates, Dublin is the 118th destination to be connected to Dubai which is expected to cater to tourists and expatriate communities from India, Australia and other countries," Clark said after the launch of the flight.