By Andy Sambidge
Dubai airline says UK and Europe are expected to be strongest markets for Adelaide flights
Emirates Airline's new service to Adelaide, set to launch in November, will carry more than 200,000 passengers per year between the Australian city and Dubai, a senior exec has said.
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ senior vice president, Commercial Operations Far East & Australasia, said in a statement that the UK and Europe are expected to be the strongest markets for both inbound and outbound travel.
On Thursday, Adelaide was treated to its first taste of Emirates when one of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft made a flying visit to Adelaide Airport, ahead of the November 1 launch of services.
Obaidalla said: “Emirates has long held ambitions to operate flights to Adelaide, so it is exciting to be here as we look forward to the benefits that will flow from this launch.
He added that in comparison to Australia’s other capital cities, Adelaide was "underserved by international carriers, relative to its population size".
Emirates plans to increase its Adelaide service to daily flights from February 1, 2013 which will bring nearly 5,000 additional international seats per week on the route, representing a 30 percent increase for the market.
"[This] will boost jobs and investment in South Australia’s AUS$5.3bn tourism sector, and with trade benefitting from the 14 tonnes of commercial cargo space on each flight,” added Obaidalla.
Since 1996 when Emirates flights began to Melbourne with three weekly services, Australian exports to the UAE have enjoyed an average annual growth rate of 10 percent.
He said the Adelaide launch plan builds on the momentum of the recently announced Emirates and Qantas partnership that, subject to regulatory approval, from April 2013 will give travellers a seamless Australian and international network.