Emirates will commence passenger flights to Baghdad from the 13th November 2011, marking the airlines’ second destination in Iraq.
Operating four times per week Baghdad will be Emirates’ fifth international destination to launch in 2011 with Basra and Geneva already operational and Copenhagen and St Petersburg to follow on 1st August and 1st November respectively.
“Baghdad is a strategically important destination for Emirates,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. “Its geographical location, coupled with the fact that few international carriers operate there, makes it the perfect destination for us to tap into and drive revenue from. With more than five million residents in Baghdad, and its surrounding districts, this new service will provide them with direct access to our vast global network.”
“Our launch into Basra, Iraq in February this year has been a resounding success with flights operating in both directions at capacity. In the four months since we began operations to Iraq thousands of passengers have flown with Emirates between Basra and Dubai seeing the route perform well above expectations.”
With 14 new passenger aircraft still to be delivered in 2011, Emirates continues to grow its network, identifying new markets with strong revenue and existing demand. The airline’s strength in recognising potential in new destination continues to hold it in good stead, following its record financial results released recently.
EK941 will depart Dubai at 07:55am touching down at Baghdad International Airport at 09:40am the same day. At 11:35am, return flight EK942 will depart Baghdad arriving in Dubai at 14:55pm the same day. The service will operate on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The service will be operated by an Airbus 330 in a three class configuration.
Emirates expects the passenger mix travelling in and out of Iraq to come from a variety of sources, with a significant skew towards industry and Government personnel. The construction, telecommunications and oil sectors are expected to make up three of the largest industry segments.
Iraqi nationals, both in Baghdad and residing outside of Iraq are also expected to be strong users of this new service. The new service out of Baghdad will provide travellers in the capital with good onward connections to many of Emirates’ global destinations including the GCC, Levant, India, China and the UK via Dubai.
Emirates currently operates a four weekly service to Basra in Iraq and has offices located in both Basra and Baghdad.