x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emirates and flydubai increase seats to India

Expected to come into effect between July and by the end of the year, Emirates and flydubai will receive 11,200 seats to India between them. Of that number, 70 per cent of the seats will go to Emirates.

A tourist walks past the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Emirates Airline and flydubai are increasing their capacity to meet the demand for seats. Mark Kolbe / Getty Images
A tourist walks past the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Emirates Airline and flydubai are increasing their capacity to meet the demand for seats. Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

Emirates Airline and the low-cost carrier flydubai expect to boost capacity on their Indian routes with thousands of extra seats.

Expected to come into effect between July and by the end of the year, Emirates and flydubai will receive 11,200 seats to India between them. Of that number, 70 per cent of the seats will go to Emirates.

Emirates now has 54,000 seats each week to India and runs at 95 per cent seat capacity, said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, the divisional senior vice president for the commercial operations centre at Emirates.

“There will be no new destinations but we will upgrade our aircraft and frequency,” he said. “India is a major market for us, even though it was one of the first destinations we opened.”

Upgrades in its India sector includes introduction of an Airbus A380 to meet the increased number of seats. The airline operates the widebody aircraft on almost 30 routes, most of which are long-haul flights such as Dallas, Sydney and Moscow.

Many of the countries had to upgrade their airports to accommodate an A380. Aside from A380s, Emirates is also one of the major customers for Boeing 777s.

Emirates ordered 50 Airbus double-decker aircraft in December, taking its Airbus order book to 93. It has 47 in its fleet of 218 aircraft, and it expects grow to have 370 craft in a couple of years. China, Japan, South Korea and Australia are its other big markets.

Emirates, which now flies to more than 140 destinations in 78 countries, has 40 on its wish list.

So far, the airline has opened 12 destinations on average every year, but expects to exceed that mark this year.

It has already announced seven, including Boston in March and Chicago from August.

Unlike its Abu Dhabi peer, Emirates has stayed away from investment or equity stakes in foreign airlines.

“We are an airline that looks into its own growth. We have a huge potential, and we have to concentrate on our own growth,” Sheikh Majid said.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

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