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Mon 30 Jan 2012 04:58 PM

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Emirates feels Celtic Tiger effect on Dublin route

Dubai flag carrier to roll out Boeing 777 on Ireland route to keep pace with surging demand

Emirates feels Celtic Tiger effect on Dublin route
Emirates said demand on its Dublin route had bypassed expectations

Emirates Airline,
Dubai’s flag carrier, has rushed to operate a larger aircraft on its Dublin
route after demand outstripped supply on the three-week-old service.

The world’s largest
long-haul carrier said it would operate a 360-seater Boeing 777-300ER
from July after load factor – the proportion of seats sold per flight - passed 90
percent on the route.

Emirates debuted its
service to the Irish capital with a 237-seat Airbus A330, a plane expected to
meet capacity demand for the first two or three years.

“Dublin is exceeding our expectations much faster than was
predicted,” said Salem Obaidalla, senior VP, commercial operations, Europe and
Russian Federation. “A bigger aircraft means more good news for the Irish
economy.”

Ireland has a population of around 4.5 million and a
thriving tourism industry, with a significant number of nationals living
overseas. Some 80,000 Irish nationals live in Australia alone.

The world’s No.1 airline on international routes, Emirates has faced criticism from European carriers
who have pressed their governments to deny the fast-growing 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.

The carrier signed a deal with Boeing in November for 50 777-300ER jets, and an
option for 20 more, in a contract valued at $26bn. The signing marked Boeing’s
largest civil jet order to date.

Emirates currently has 90 Airbus A380 aircraft on order.

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