Emirates to launch Prague flights
Dubai, December 23, 2009
Dubai-based Emirates Airlines has announced plans to start daily flights to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, starting from July 1 next year. This will be Emirates' 24th European destination.
The non-stop service to the Czech Republic's capital city is the third new route to be announced by Emirates for 2010, said a company statement.
The flight EK 139 will leave Dubai at 10.30am and arrive in Prague at 02.50pm with a flight time of around six hours.
The return flight, EK 140, will depart Prague at 04.20pm and land in Dubai at 12.15am midnight. A 278-seat Airbus A330, offering 27 seats in Business Class and 251 in Economy will serve the route.
The Dubai carrier is also starting services to Tokyo from March 28 followed by Amsterdam services from May 1.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said this was another new and exciting development for Emirates, embracing a popular European tourist destination and an emerging market.
'We have been keen to add Prague to our six continent network, and now the time is right to start up our 24th European destination,' he noted.
'We have already been carrying passengers from the Czech Republic through existing European points, such as Vienna. Now, customers can fly direct from Prague to Dubai, and onwards to Asia and the Far East, bringing more convenience and reduced travelling time,' he explained.
'Amongst our cabin crew alone, we have more than 60 staff from the Czech Republic based in Dubai,' he remarked.
The Czech Republic has become increasingly prominent on the European tourism map, boasting a dozen Unesco World Heritage sites, including the historic centre of Prague. Golf, spa and MICE offerings are also being developed.
Exports include manufactured goods, machinery, cars, transport equipment and beverages. Asian companies are amongst the key players investing in the country. Car giants Hyundai and Toyota have both established production plants.
Ram Menen, Emirates' divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said the launch of services to Prague and the new trade channel it opens up is great news on the cargo side as it coincides with a continuing resurgence of cargo traffic globally. 'Emerging markets, such as the Czech Republic, play an important role in that equation,' he added.
In 2008, trading volume between the Czech Republic and the UAE reached $678 million, up 19 per cent on 2007, with exports to the UAE contributing over 93 per cent, according to figures from the Czech Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
With a population of around 10 million, the Czech Republic became a member of the European Union in 2004.-TradeArabia News Service