By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Salem Obaidallah, the airline's senior VP for commercial operations, Americas, said that the airline will also hire more Mexican nationals if its new route via Barcelona proves successful
Dubai’s Emirates Airline is open to operating the iconic Airbus A380 on its new Mexico City route if demand is high, according to Salem Obaidallah, the airline’s senior VP for commercial operations, Americas.
On Monday, December 9, Emirates completed its inaugural flight on the route, landing at 16.15 local time with a full flight at Mexico City’s international airport.
Speaking to media in Mexico City last week, Obaidallah said Emirates is already seeing strong demand on the Dubai-Barcelona-Dubai route, with load factors on the first flights at approximately 70 percent.
He told Arabian Business, load factors are expected to spike to around 85 percent during the Christmas travel period.
“We just started,” Obaidallah said. “We’re going to see how it will do. If there is high demand, we can operate the A380.”
Additionally, Obaidallah said that while Emirates currently has approximately 400 Mexican nationals working at the airline in various capacities, it is likely to hire more if the new route proves fruitful.
“In the future, we’ll always recruit people,” he said. “[We] will continue to recruit people from Mexico, and as we grow, we’ll need more cabin crew and more captains. We’ll come and recruit.”
Speaking to media alongside Obaidallah, Mexican Secretary of Tourism Miguel Torruco Marques said that the Mexican Government will study the passenger flows on the new route in an effort to better tailor promotional efforts in the UAE.
“In one year’s time, we’ll see how the occupancy did, and above all, the flower of international tourists,” he said. “From there, we’ll start to programme a promotional tour…in accordance with the profile of the Emirates passengers.”
In April 2019, the Mexican Government began a new tourism promotion programme – known as Operation Door Knock – which is designed to use social media and a multi-language website to boost the number of visitors from specific markets.
While the programme’s initial target was the Chinese market, Marques said that similar efforts are likely to take place in the UAE and the wider Middle East in a bid to attract more passengers to come to Mexico via the Emirates flight.
“We will find tour operators and social media [personalities],” he said. “We will sell our product and invite the tour operators to get to know Mexico and the places that interest them, to consolidate and grow the business.”For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.