Emirates advances in West Asia
3 September 2009
Effective from the start of this month, Emirates airline will step up its presence in West Asia with additional services to Colombo, and Malé from its home base in Dubai. The expansion also signals the resumption of Emirates’ flights on the Malé -Colombo route.
In all Emirates will add four flights to Colombo and five to Malé, bringing its total frequency to 18 flights per week to Sri Lanka and 14 flights per week to the Maldives.
EK 654 will operate a circular route, Dubai- Malé -Colombo-Dubai, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday using a modern Airbus A330 aircraft in a three-class configuration of 12 First, 42 Business and 183 Economy Class seats.
Emirates will also introduce an additional direct connection between Dubai and Colombo every Friday on EK 650, and another two connections between Dubai and Malé on Wednesday and Friday with EK 658. These services will be operated with the technologically-advanced Boeing 777 series of aircraft offering 12 First, 42 Business and 310 Economy Class seats.
The additional services will offer passengers the convenience of morning, noon and evening departures.
Majid Al Mualla, Emirates Vice President, Commercial Operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean noted: “The introduction of over 1800 seats (per week per direction) on the two routes will be welcomed by business, leisure and student travellers. Business and student travellers from Sri Lanka can take advantage of the extra flights that seamlessly connect to onward points in North America and Europe via Dubai. At the same time the enhanced capacity offers convenient connections to Sri Lanka’s burgeoning expatriate population working in the Middle East and travelling home all year round.
“There are expectations that tourist traffic into Sri Lanka will improve during the winter season of 2009. In line with this expectation local authorities are already considering improvements in the tourism infrastructure. By introducing additional services and promoting these across our robust international network, Emirates is supporting the local government’s campaign to revive Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.”
Mr. Al Mualla added: “Our extra flights will grow the tourism potential of Maldives - a popular getaway for leisure travellers from Europe and the Middle East. Furthermore, the resumption of services between Malé and Colombo will encourage inbound tourists to opt for a two-destination holiday. It will also benefit Maldivians visiting Sri Lanka for medical treatment, cultural tourism, education and shopping.”