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Thu 17 Feb 2011 04:39 PM

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Dubai’s Emirates eyes fresh landing slots in France

There is ‘clear demand’ for increasing flight frequencies, says Dubai state-backed airline

Dubai’s Emirates eyes fresh landing slots in France
Emirates has hinted it may seek to increase its flight frequencies to France again

Emirate’s
Airline, Dubai’s flagship carrier, has said it is keen to secure extra landing rights
in France as it seeks to grow its share of the lucrative European market.

A
deal signed by UAE and French aviation authorities last month gave flagship
airlines Etihad, Emirates and Air Arabia the right to add a combined 22 weekly
flights to the European country.

The
countries also agreed to add Bordeaux as the sixth destination for UAE
airlines, alongside Paris, Nice, Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse.

Emirates,
however, has hinted it may seek to increase its flight frequencies again.

"We
are encouraged by these developments,” an Emirates spokesperson told Arabian
Business. “[We] look forward to further talks to continue addressing the clear
need for extra capacity between the UAE and France.”

The
world’s No.1 airline on international routes, Emirates is embroiled in a spat
with European carriers who have pressed their governments to deny the airline
new flying rights.

Carriers
including Air France-KLM Group, Europe’s biggest carrier by traffic, claim
that lower taxes and airport fees at Emirate’s Dubai hub amounts to an unfair
advantage.

Emirates
is currently lobbying for landing slots at Berlin’s new airport, scheduled to
open in 2012. The move has been opposed by German carrier Lufthansa.

Emirates
president Tim Clark last month accused Lufthansa of seeking to undermine its
rival’s business model.

“Their
mantra is to take the Gulf carriers down, as well as dominate the markets they
sit in,” he said.

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