Emirates eyes expansion in Eastern Europe

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Dubai’s Emirates Airline on Thursday unveiled new expansion plans in Eastern Europe, announcing its first service to the Ukraine.

Emirates will launch daily services to Kyiv Boryspil International Airport in the capital Kiev from January 16, 2014.

The flight, EK171, will be operated by an Airbus A340-500 with first, business and economy classes.

It will depart Dubai at 5.15pm, arriving in Kiev at 8.35pm. The return flight to Dubai leaves Kiev at 10.10pm, arriving into Dubai at 4.55am the following day.

The Airbus A340-500 will offer 12 luxurious private suites in First Class, 42 deeply reclining Business Class seats, and plenty of room to relax in Economy Class with as total of 204 seats.

In a statement, Emirates said the new service would link the Ukraine’s 45m people with Dubai, a major international hub.

The former Soviet bloc country is an emerging economy with a booming agricultural sector. It is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil and a major global producer of grain and sugar.

"We see strong potential in the Ukraine through its agribusiness, heavy machinery industries, technology, and tourism,” Emirates’ divisional senior vice president of commercial operations west, Hubert Frach, said.

“Kiev will be our 35th passenger route in Europe and Emirates' customers in the Ukraine will be able to fly non-stop to our Dubai hub and conveniently connect onwards to destinations in the Indian Ocean islands and Asia, in addition to our extensive Australian network courtesy of our partnership with Qantas. 

“We expect Dubai to be a popular choice for our customers in the Ukraine, facilitating new business opportunities as well as offering leisure travellers world-class accommodation and entertainment options.”

Ukraine’s GDP growth is expected to grow steadily for the next three years as a result of increasing consumer confidence and demand for raw building materials such as steel, according to Emirates.

The Emirates’ Kiev service also will carry up to 15 tonnes of exports from the Ukraine, such as aircraft spares, heavy industry machinery equipment and ships spares.

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