Emirates links Dubai with Kolkata
It is Emirates' first service to eastern India, and the seventh destination in India.india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 18:00 IST
Emirates, the airline owned by the Dubai government, on Friday linked the West Bengal capital with the emirate as its inaugural flight touched down here to a gracious welcome.
This is Emirates' first service to eastern India, and the airline with modern A330-200 aircraft made Kolkata its seventh destination in India with a six days a week schedule.
"We will next connect Bangalore from Oct 29," said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates executive vice president for commercial operations worldwide.
Besides Ghaith, the inaugural flight that departed Dubai early in the morning for Kolkata's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport carried several members of the airline's senior management.
"It is well-timed as India readies itself to sign a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which will catapult its trade with GCC countries to $15 billion in coming years," said Ghaith.
"As Emirates spreads its wings and connects more Indian cities, we thank the Indian government and West Bengal state officials for their continuous support," Ghaith said, adding that the new service would boost business opportunities for Kolkata's corporate and air freight industries.
"It is encouraging that we have 70 per cent booking in the first week. We will offer promotional fares for Europe as well," he said. "We hope to contribute to West Bengal's inbound tourism as well."
Since its inception in 1985, Emirates has been flying to Mumbai and New Delhi. It later added Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram to its list of destinations in India.
"Our flights will provide travellers with better connectivity to Dubai, the destination of choice for tourists, offering sand, sea, sports and shopping," said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates vice president (India and Nepal).
Emirates has a global network of 82 cities in 52 countries.