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Emirates confident of Scottish route success

Travel News Asia 18 March 2004

During a press briefing in Glasgow (Scotland) on Tuesday, Emirates confirmed plans to launch a new non-stop route from Glasgow to Dubai, from April 10, 2004.

The head of the airlines operations in the UK expressed confidence in the success of the new daily services and shared with the Scottish media the reasons why the direct flights are expected to meet with a very positive response from customers.

Vic Sheppard, Emirates' Vice-President UK & Ireland said the new service will give a major boost to Scotlands air travel. He said: "Scottish passengers are about to discover what the Emirates experience is all about -- from their own principal airport. 

They will be able to enjoy first hand the quality of service which has made Emirates a resounding success, as they fly non-stop to and from the most cosmopolitan and exciting city in the Gulf region, he said.

He added: "It's also time that travellers from Dubai, the Middle East and beyond are offered easier access to the many trade and tourism assets of Scotlands largest city. I am certain that this highly convenient new premium service will lead to more tourists travelling in both directions, and a better understanding of business opportunities in Dubai and Glasgow."

Mr Sheppard said: "Scotland has strong links with the Middle East through oil and gas related businesses, yet Dubai remains relatively undiscovered by Scottish leisure travellers. Scotland also has substantial historical and cultural links with Australia and the Far East.

"Tourism and trade with countries in Africa and the Indian sub-continent is relatively small -- for now. Our new service will act as a catalyst to stimulate more exchange of people and goods."

Each year 300,000 people travel on connecting flights to Scottish airports from the Middle East, Far East, Australia and New Zealand, almost 80 per cent of them via Heathrow or Amsterdam.

These figures are influenced primarily by the dominance of airports with strong onward networks, as there is a real lack of options for those wanting direct longhaul flights to Scotland.

Underlining the benefits of the new direct service, Mr Sheppard said: "No longer will passengers or cargo shippers from Scotland have to endure time-consuming delays in London or mainland Europe.

Our new route will bypass those and provide direct access to Dubai, one of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing cities, equidistant from destinations on three continents that represent four-fifths of the Earth's population."

Emirates is gearing up to carry more than 100,000 passengers and 3,500 tonnes of cargo in its first year of operations to and from Glasgow. Three-quarters of the traffic are expected to connect beyond Dubai to destinations on the Emirates network.

As well as helping to satisfy passenger demand, the new flights will provide an excellent outlet for exports from the Scottish oil industry, high tech and foodstuffs, and open up a faster channel for imports by air.

The new daily flights will help to turn Glasgow International Airport into a Scottish gateway for overseas-bound passengers from the wider region, as well as inbound leisure and business travellers from far-flung destinations.

Laurie Berryman, Emirates Manager North and Scotland, said: Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports together account for almost 86 per cent of all Scottish traffic, and we are looking to attract business from the east and west coasts and north into Perthshire. Our potential catchment area could even extend into the Highlands and Islands, and as far south as Newcastle."

Flight EK025 will leave Dubai daily at 07:30hrs to reach Glasgow at 12.25 the same day. The return flight EK026 will depart from Glasgow at 14:00hrs, reaching Dubai at 00.30 the next day (all times local). The route will operate a two-class Airbus A330-200 with 34 Business and 251 Economy Class seats.

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