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Dubai and Lufthansa agree on new direct flights

Travel News Asia 31 July 2003

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Director General, Khalid A. bin Sulayem met a high level delegation of Lufthansa Airlines recently where a landmark decision of starting Dubai-Munich direct flight from 26th October 2003 by Lufthansa was announced.

The meeting was attended by DTCM Director Operations and Marketing Mohammed Khamis bin Hareb, Uwe H W Mueller, Vice President for Asia & Pacific at Lufthansa German Airlines, DTCM Manager Missions, Hamad bin Mejren and DTCM Deputy Manager Visitor Information Bureaus' and Media Relations Incharge, Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman.


DTCM Director General, Khalid A. bin Sulayem (third from left) with Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Lufthansa German Airlines (second from left). Also seen in the picture DTCM Director Operations and Marketing, Mohammed Khamis bin Hareb (third from right), DTCM Manager Missions, Hamad bin Mejren (second from right) and other officials.
click picture for larger version

Mr. bin Sulayem felt that the decision was a big leap forward for Dubai in further cementing strong travel and tourism ties with Germany. "Lufthansa is among the top aviation giants and direct flight linking Dubai to Munich will be extremely convenient for visitors traveling between the two destinations," said Mr. bin Sulayem.

He stated that as both Dubai and Munich are undergoing rapid progress and expansion, the decision to have direct flights the two destinations would yield good results in the long run. "Dubai is blooming with activities and so is Germany. By joining hands and working together we can accomplishment more profitable results in every field," said Mr. bin Sulayem.

DTCM Manager Missions Hamad bin Mejren said that this is a result of our on-going endeavors to help and develop Lufthansa interest in Dubai. "More than 120 representatives from the Lufthansa attended their meeting in Dubai recently. A similar delegation visited the emirate during the Arabian Travel Market, this year. They were impressed with what they saw and the result is evident- a direct link with Munich, which speaks volumes about our efforts to place the emirate in Germany," said Mr. bin Mejren.

Appreciating the efforts of DTCM representative office in Germany, Mr. bin Mejren remarked: "Our office in Frankfurt has done a commendable job in marketing and placing Dubai on the international map".

Lufthansa was earlier flying to Frankfurt only. In total there are 47 weekly flights between Dubai and Germany.

Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales,  Lufthansa German Airlines, said: " Without the cooperation and support of the DTCM, we would not have able to launch this new service that would bring the two places further closer. Dubai is one of the most stable and promising regions of the world. We see great potential here. Dubai has been very supportive to our plans."

The 75-year-old airline currently operates direct flights to Frankfurt and its service to Munich, Germany's second busiest hub, is going to fulfill the long-felt needs of the travelers from the region. With a 41-year history in the region, the airline operates 60 weekly flights linking 16 Middle East destinations to Germany. It operates over 30 flights out of the Gulf region, including 11 out of the UAE.

The new service forms part of the Lufthansa plans to make its presence strong in the markets like Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Lufthansa owns a fleet of 365 planes and is a founding member of the six-year-old Star Alliance, which flies to 727 destinations in 127 countries. Last year, 44 million passengers flew Lufthansa.

Mr. Antinori, who visited some of the developmental projects like The Palm and enjoyed the traditional Arabian hospitality during his Dubai visit, said: " Dubai never cease to amaze us. The economic growth and infrastructure development is outstanding. The most important thing is the diversity that Dubai has and the big-leap projects it has initiated. It gives confidence to the world and stimulates us to further our strategic development here and solidify our position."

The Lufthansa officials thanked the DTCM for co-sponsoring the Lufthansa Group first-ever Global Sales Summit in the Middle East in Dubai. Mr. Antinori led a delegation of top-ranking Lufthansa executives during a visit to the Dubai stand at this year's Arabian Travel Market (ATM-2003).

Mr. Antinori briefed the DTCM officials about the new Terminal 2 at Munich airport that opened recently. It has been jointly built and operated by the Munich airport and Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Officials said Lufthansa posted an 11 per cent growth in  passengers on the Frankfurt-Dubai route in the first quarter this year despite the Iraq crisis. The Middle East contributed total traffic revenue of 201.8 million euros in 2002 from the 527,000 passengers it flew.

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