Emirates Airlines invests in Scotland by doubling Glasgow service
10 January 2012
- New second daily service
- Increase in seat capacity of 47 per cent
- Introduction of First Class cabin on both daily flights for first time
- Cargo capacity increases by 59 per cent
Emirates Airline has today announced a continued commitment to its Scottish route connection with plans to introduce a second daily non-stop flight from Glasgow to Dubai, commencing 1 June 2012.
The announcement comes as a result of continued growth in demand for Emirates’ service between Glasgow and Dubai. It will generate up to 12 new direct jobs and indirectly support many others with Emirates’ contracted suppliers, as well as generating millions in visitor revenue, contributing to the overall Scottish economy.
Since its commencement in 2004, the Dubai-based international airline’s Glasgow service has carried over 1.7 million passengers and over 46 million kilos of cargo to and from the Middle East and beyond.
The additional flight, coupled with an aircraft upgrade on the existing service, will increase Emirates’ capacity to and from Glasgow by 47 per cent, an extra 398 seats per day (199 each way). It will also see the introduction of a First Class cabin onto both daily services, the first time this has been offered by a commercial airline from Scotland. It will also provide an additional 13 tonnes of daily cargo capacity - a 59 per cent uplift on existing volumes.
“This announcement illustrates our commitment to Scotland and to our wider UK route network in difficult economic times,” said Laurie Berryman, Emirates’ Vice President UK & Ireland. “Our Glasgow route has been a real success story, and we are extremely confident that there is the demand for additional services flying east to Dubai and onward to our global network of over 115 destinations. The service brings real benefits to Scotland’s economy and its international competitiveness.”
“The introduction of a First Class cabin on both daily flights also means greater choice for passengers, and increased cargo capacity means more export business opportunities for cargo shippers in Scotland,” added Berryman.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, stated that this new flight would be a significant boost to Glasgow’s economy, connectivity and competitiveness.
He said: “I am delighted that our discussions with Emirates and BAA over the past two years have borne success. This is fantastic news for Glasgow, which strongly reflects Emirates’ long-term commitment to the city and our airport.
“From a starting point in 2004 Emirates’ Dubai route has proved a huge success, generating over £164 million to date for the local economy and bringing more than 687,000 inbound passengers to Glasgow.
“The operation of a double daily service is a major step forward in terms of forging greater business links and increasing access between Glasgow and key Asian economic decision centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore as well as emerging markets in China and India.
“The introduction of a second daily flight from Dubai – one of the world’s largest hub airports – significantly increases Glasgow’s global connectivity, particularly through Emirates’ worldwide route network, and will generate considerable in-bound tourism in the years ahead.
“It is estimated that the twice-daily service will deliver local economic benefit of £33 million with almost 140,000 inbound passengers in 2012 alone. Over the next five years the route will be worth more than £200m to the city, bringing more than 846,000 inbound passengers to Glasgow through to 2016.
“Today’s announcement not only reinforces Glasgow Airport’s position as Scotland’s principal long-haul gateway, but demonstrates the continued importance of the city council’s Air Route Development activity.”
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “As part of our strategy to support economic growth, the Scottish Government is determined to improve our international air connections. The announcement of this new expanded service cements our growing business, education and cultural links with Dubai and provides an additional link to this key gateway through which to boost trade and tourism opportunities with key global markets such as south and south-east Asia, Africa and Australasia.
“Despite challenging economic circumstances, since it began in 2004 the Emirates’ Glasgow to Dubai service has continued to develop. This announcement of the new expanded service today underlines Emirates’ confidence in the Scottish market’s ability to sustain and grow. As a government we believe that good quality air services must continue to increase if Scotland is to maintain its competitive advantage and we will continue to promote our aviation sector in a bid to further boost inbound tourism and the business connectivity.”
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Since its launch in 2004, Emirates’ Dubai route has proved hugely successful with business and leisure passengers and its decision to introduce a second daily service is fantastic news for both Glasgow Airport and Scotland as a whole.
“The ability of Scotland to maintain and increase its global competitiveness is dependent on having air links with established and emerging markets and not only will Emirates’ new service considerably strengthen our long-haul route network, it will play a crucial role in allowing companies from across Scotland to access and trade with markets such as China, south-east Asia and India.”
With Emirates’ rapidly expanding global network, travellers from Scotland can connect to over 115 destinations worldwide via Dubai. The most popular routes for Scottish passengers include Dubai, the airline’s four Australian gateways – Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane – along with New Zealand (Auckland and Christchurch), Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cochin and the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and the Maldives.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: “Access is hugely important for both leisure and business tourism and this double daily service not only opens up the Middle East market but more importantly the diaspora markets of Australia and New Zealand where some 2.5million people are of Scots origin. The opening of this new service couldn’t have come at a better time as Scotland is set to benefit from the tourism opportunity of a lifetime over the next three years - with eight milestones - from Year of Creative Scotland to Homecoming Scotland - attracting international visitors from all over the world. We have worked with Emirates for many years and plan to invest in a joint marketing campaign in the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand to promote this new service.”
Cargo shippers across Scotland have also taken advantage of Emirates’ excellent flight connections. The main commodities being shipped include Scottish produce such as whisky, smoked salmon and oysters, as well as items including oil-well equipment, helicopter and aircraft parts, and medical equipment. There has also been an increase in demand for transporting live animals, particularly pets such as cats and dogs moving to Australia.
The new scheduled evening service will be operated by a three-class Airbus A340-300 aircraft, carrying 12 First Class passengers, 42 in Business Class and 213 in Economy Class. The aircraft also possesses a cargo capacity of 13 tonnes. Flight EK26 will depart daily from Glasgow at 2130hrs, arriving in Dubai at 0800hrs (next day); with the EK25 return service departing from Dubai at 1450hrs, arriving in Glasgow at 2000hrs.
The existing daytime flight EK27/EK28 is being upgraded to a three-class Boeing 777-300ER with eight Private Suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat beds in Business Class and 310 seats in Economy Class. It also has 22 tonnes of cargo capacity.
In addition to Glasgow, Emirates operates flights to Dubai from Heathrow (five times daily), London Gatwick and Manchester (three times daily), Birmingham (twice daily) and Newcastle (daily).
For more information, visit www.emirates.com/uk