Emirates’ plans to introduce a third flight from Dubai to Dublin is facing delays owing to restrictions at Dublin Airport.
Enda Corneille, Emirates’ country manager for Ireland, told Irish media during a briefing on the airline’s Irish operations that the Dubai carrier needed new infrastructure at the airport’s Terminal 2 (T2) in order to increase its twice-daily flights.
Operated by Boeing 777s, Emirates operates a morning and afternoon flight from Dubai to the the Irish capital. The return flights leave Dublin in the early afternoon (1.50pm) and late night (10.25pm)
“The challenge for Emirates is that we’re operating in Terminal 2. We believe Terminal 2 is utterly conducive to our product. Our customers like it as well, but it’s a busy place,” he said.
"There are a number of pain points already in T2. One of which is around the US customs. We believe that can be sorted through more intensive security technology to smooth people through.”
He said the proposed third flight would also require a slot during the airport’s peak time of operations - Dublin's early morning flights to and from the UK and Europe.
"The other pain point, which also doesn't affect Emirates, is that 6am to 7.30 window in the morning where the short-haul carriers need to get the first wave out on time.
“The third flight that we were looking to bring in would have probably run up against the busiest time being early morning,” Corneille said.
Corneille insisted the Emirates has a very good relationship with the Dublin Airport Authority, and will continue to work to “see how we can build a path for growth”.
Emirates, which first launched operations in Ireland in 2012, employs 600 Irish people across its network with plans to hire 150 more this year.
The airline’s operations in Ireland have been hugely successful, with 22,000 passengers each month and a load factor of about 80%, which it hopes to grow to 85% in the coming years.
The Dubai carrier, however, will face increasing competition for its onward passengers to and from the east, with the Chinese carrier Hainan recently launching a new Beijing service, and Cathay Pacific due to start its Hong Kong route next week.
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