By Ben Flanagan
Dubai airline is in talks over new services to Australia following news that Etihad will begin Oz routes.
Dubai-based airline Emirates says that it hopes to increase its services to Australia, in an announcement made just days after Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways announced that it would begin flights to Oz "within the next few months".
"Emirates would like to operate more flights to Australia and we continue to be in dialogue with the relevant authorities on this matter. Discussions are ongoing and meetings are being scheduled for the next few months,” said an Emirates spokesperson in a statement emailed to ArabianBusiness.com.
The airline currently operates 49 services ‘down under’ per week, with 14 flights a week to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and 7 to Brisbane.
The announcement that Etihad Airways – the "National Airline of the UAE" - will begin flights to Australia within the next few months followed the conclusion of an extended aviation bilateral agreement between the UAE and Australia.
Etihad Airways Chief Executive, James Hogan, said: “We appreciate the support of the Government of Abu Dhabi in securing the additional rights that will allow us to start flights to Australia in the next few months. I believe that our service will significantly drive and support the development of trade and tourism between the UAE and Australia. We are finalising the arrangements and hope to announce full details shortly.”
Etihad has not disclosed its route destinations or frequencies, but said it expects to make further announcements later this month.