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Emirates Airline has announced plans that it is to introduce a second daily non-stop flight to Glasgow, scheduled to commence on June 1, 2012.
The doubling of frequency on the route will result in 12 new jobs as well as contributing to the overall Scottish economy.
The additional flight to Dubai, coupled with an aircraft upgrade, will increase capacity to and from Glasgow by 47% or 199 seats each way.
The Dubai-based carrier will also introduce a first-class cabin onto both daily services. It claims that this will be the first time first-class has been offered by a commercial airline from and to Scotland.
The new evening service will be operated by a three-class Airbus A340-300, carrying 12 first-class passengers, 42 in business class and 213 in economy class.
The existing daytime flight is being upgraded to a three-class Boeing 777-300ER with eight private suites in first class, 42 lie-flat beds in business class and 310 seats in economy.
Glasgow City Council leader and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau chairman Gordon Matheson said: “It is estimated that the twice-daily service will deliver local economic benefit of £33 million with almost 140,000 inbound passengers in 2012 alone.
“Over the next five years the route will be worth more than £200 million to the city, bringing more than 846,000 inbound passengers to Glasgow through to 2016.”
Glasgow airport managing director Amanda McMillan said: “The ability of Scotland to maintain and increase its global competitiveness is dependent on having air links with established and emerging markets and not only will Emirates’ new service considerably strengthen our long-haul route network, it will play a crucial role in allowing companies from across Scotland to access and trade with markets such as China, south-east Asia and India.”
The airline’s Glasgow service has carried more than 1.7 million passengers since being launched in 2004.
UK & Ireland vice-president Laurie Berryman said: “This announcement illustrates our commitment to Scotland and to our wider UK route network in difficult economic times.
“Our Glasgow route has been a real success story, and we are extremely confident that there is the demand for additional services flying east to Dubai and onward to our global network of over 115 destinations. The service brings real benefits to Scotland’s economy and its international competitiveness.”
“The introduction of a first-class cabin on both daily flights also means greater choice for passengers, and increased cargo capacity means more export business opportunities for cargo shippers in Scotland.”
In addition to Glasgow, Emirates operates flights to Dubai from Heathrow (five times daily), London Gatwick and Manchester (three times daily), Birmingham (twice daily) and Newcastle (daily) and is launching a service from Dublin later in the year.