There are few airlines in Pakistan that offer a five-star travelling experience. Given the increasingly high-strung economic times and the rising cost of air travel, many potential travelers would prefer to fly via budget airlines rather than contribute a significant amount of travel expenditure to airfare. Despite that, Emirates Airline has posted a profit for 2009, according to a recent report published by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA). With facilities like onboard spas and showers for first-class passengers, the airline has definitely added much greater returns for passengers in terms of premium services. Under the patronage of Adil Al Ghaith, Vice President Pakistan & Afghanistan since 2007 (previously Emirates Manager in Egypt), the airline seems to be doing remarkably well in Pakistan. In an interview with chutti.pk Al Ghaith pointed out that in 2009 alone, Emirates Pakistan has served more than 500,000 passengers out of which a large chunk comprise business class passengers.
“Most people travelling from here are usually heading to London, New York, Houston, Manchester and Toronto,” he stated, making these some of the most popular destinations that Emirates Pakistan flies to. Since passengers travelling via Emirates make a stop-over in Dubai, it makes sense to operate more and more flights to Dubai. However, while there are four daily flights from Karachi to Dubai, the frequency for other cities in the country is much lower. “Increasing frequency to a particular destination is a matter between two countries and not just the prerogative of the airline. Thus, any sort of expansion depends on government permissions,” he explained. Al Ghaith hopes that the airline’s additional routes, particularly to Northern Pakistan, will be a positive contribution in this regard.
Talking about innovation, Al Ghaith said that the newly launched flights to Tokyo was one of the most exciting developments for Emirates this year, making this the airline’s 102nd international destination. The response to this non-stop, 10-hour-long flight (from Dubai to Tokyo) has been pretty good so far. The airline will be flying to Tokyo five times a week, said Al Ghaith, and is operating the Boeing 777-300ER on this route. “These flights will further boost trade relations between Pakistan and Japan,” said Al Ghaith, especially since Pakistani immigrants comprise the third-largest Muslim community in Japan. “There are eight Private Suites in first class; 42 flat-bed seats in business class and 304 economy class seats.” More routes will be introduced this year, he added, including Prague on July 1, Madrid on August 1 and Dakar (Senegal) on September 1, making 2010 a very exciting year for the airline.
About Emirates: The airline’s first-ever flight took off on October 25, 1985, from Dubai on two leased aircraft, one of which was leased by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The airline posted a profit within the first nine months of its operations and started adding new destinations in 1986. Currently, it operates about 2,200 passenger flights per week from Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, flying to 60 countries in six continents.