Emirates to launch flights to Erbil
Dubai, June 20, 2012
Dubai-based carrier Emirates is set to launch flights to Iraqi Kurdistan capital Erbil, its third gateway in Iraq after Basra and Baghdad, starting from August 12.
Starting from 12th August 2012, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan will be the carrier's 17th passenger destination in the Middle East.
The new service between Emirates’ hub in Dubai and Erbil will initially operate four times a week, increasing to a daily service from September 1.
Known to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Erbil has a population of approximately five million people and is the fourth largest city in Iraq.
The Iraqi Kurdistan region has the sixth largest oil reserve globally with many of the world’s large oil multinationals availing of offices there.
The region is booming with new, large-scale construction projects including a 1.6 billion US-dollar media centre considered to be one of the principal projects currently in development.
Emirates said it will fly its Airbus 340-300 on the route, offering 267 seats in a three-class configuration and more than 13 tonnes of cargo capacity.
'Since we first launched flights into Iraq we have seen demand for our services there increase tenfold,' remarked Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum, the chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group.
'Emirates has been offering a well utilised cargo service to Erbil since February 2011 and we are confident that our new passenger service will be filled in both directions. A resource rich country, Iraq offers great potential for growth and we look forward to the launch of our third destination there this August,” he added.
The Emirates flight EK949 will take off on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from Dubai International Airport at 4.30 am and land in Erbil International Airport at 6.30am. The return flight, EK950, will depart Erbil at 8am and arriving in Dubai at 11.40am the same day.
Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has been operating a freighter out of Erbil since February 2011.-TradeArabia News Service