Published on : Friday, January 17, 2014
United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier, Emirates Airline, is to introduce a second frequency on its Dubai – Dublin route, reaffirming the Republic of Ireland capital as one of the most successful route launches in the carrier’s history. The second daily rotation will commence on September 1, 2014 and follows just two and half years since the hub carrier first introduced flights into the Irish market.
The airline inaugurated a daily flight between the two cities on January 9, 2012 using a three-class, 237-seat Airbus A330-200 but reported loads of more than 90 per cent on many of the services making it one of its most successful route launches ever. A larger Boeing 777-300ER was introduced from July 2012 increasing capacity by 52 per cent with each rotation providing seating for 360 passengers – 310 in Economy, 42 in Business as well as eight First Class Private Suites.
Speaking at the time Salem Obaidalla, then senior vice president, commercial operations, Europe & Russian Federation, Emirates Airline, said: “Normally, this [the A330-200] would provide enough capacity for the first 2-3 years of a new route operation. However, Dublin is exceeding our expectations much faster than was predicted and we need more seats to satisfy demand.”
Ireland has a population of around 4.5 million, while around 5,000 Irish nationals live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) so a relatively strong point-to-point demand is anticipated on the route. However, around 80,000 more live in Australia, which Emirates says has been a “key market” for the new service: more than 70 passengers on the 237-seat inaugural flight came from bookings in Australia, according to the carrier.
The introduction of the second rotation will introduce over 5,000 seats a week into the market and will also be operated using a Boeing 777-300ER. It will facilitate more effective onward connections from Dubai to major destinations in Australia and New Zealand, with shorter journey times into Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane, while it will introduce new connections to the Far East, India, East and Southern Africa.
“Air travel is indispensable for tourism and trade, the major engines of Ireland’s resurgent economy. Emirates’ expanded schedule will offer better connectivity for our customers when travelling between Dublin and Dubai and onwards to the rest of our network, increasing access to emerging markets and encouraging investment and innovation,” said Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline. “There is a clear traffic flow taking place from Dublin to a number of destinations in our network, therefore boosting connections makes business sense.”
Over 440,000 passengers have travelled on the Dubai – Dublin service since it started and Tourism Ireland estimates that average growth rates of passenger traffic from Asia & Middle East to Ireland by 2020 will be over six per cent. Middle East traffic grew by three per cent just after the launch of the original Dublin rotation in 2012, according to the overseas marketing agency.
Dublin is also linked to the UAE by Etihad Airways which offers ten flights per week to Abu Dhabi, while Aer Lingus has also served the Dublin – Dubai route in the past. An estimated 120,000 bi-directional O&D passengers travelled between Ireland and UAE in the year ending November 2013, with just over half travelling to Dubai. This represented a growth 30.2 per cent versus the previous 12 months.
Emirates currently holds a 47.3 per cent share of this traffic with around 57,000 O&D passengers flying point-to-point. But, as mentioned previously, this route is more than just about O&D passengers. Alongside its point-to-point passengers, Emirates carried an estimated 175,000 passengers to 348 other destinations via Dubai and our analysis below highlights the top 20 destinations for passengers beginning or ending their Emirates journey in the Irish capital – the main markets being Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia; Bangkok in Thailand and the Philippines’ capital Manila.