Friday, February 22, 2013

Emirates ups Dubai-Jakarta direct service

Local travelers will have easier access to 129 global destinations when Emirates increases its non-stop service between Jakarta and Dubai from two to three flights a day. 

The premium Gulf carrier will start the increased flight service on March 2, Emirates country manager Mohammed Al Nahari said. 

“This flight will allow passengers traveling from Jakarta to select their preferred flight options and will easily connect them with hundreds of transit flights from Dubai,” Al Nahari said in Jakarta on Thursday. “The additional service will also establish Emirates as one of the largest long-haul airlines operating to and from Indonesia.” 

With the additional flights, the airline expects to transport more than 2,500 passengers a day and 315 tons of cargo a week between the cities, which would be up almost 50 percent from current levels, he said. 

Increased cargo capacity is expected to enhance trade opportunities for Indonesia across Emirates’ network, which will use Boeing B777-Extended Range (ER) aircraft to serve Jakarta, offering business and economy class service for over 300 passengers per flight. 

“With less than one month to go, we are ramping up our activities on the ground in Jakarta and around our global network to boost the flow of tourism, business and trade in both nations,”Al Nahari said. 

He declined to discuss the airline’s estimates on passenger numbers after service is increased, saying only that the number of visitors to Dubai from Jakarta was very large.

In 2011, Emirates carried more than half million passengers from Indonesia to Dubai, with some continuing their journeys to destinations in Europe, the Americas and Africa. 

Al Nahari said that Emirates was not daunted by tight competition in the Indonesian commercial aviation market, claiming that there were still enough opportunities for the airline to exploit.

He cited the example of Emirates’ competitor Etihad Airways, which recently announced that it would collaborate with national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia. “It shows that Indonesia is an important market for Middle Eastern airlines and we have to provide better service to satisfy Indonesian customers,” Al Nahari said. 

The airline currently has no plans to connect its Dubai hub with other major destinations in Indonesia such as Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, or Medan, North Sumatra, he said. 

The Dubai-based airline has been operating in Indonesia since 1992, when it launched service by providing three flights per week to Indonesia via Singapore and Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

Emirates’ expansion continued in 2005, when it launched daily non-stop service between Jakarta to Dubai and again in 2010, when service between the cities was increased to twice daily. 

The airline currently employs over 200 Indonesian citizens following successive recruitment drives across the nation.

Kuala Lumpur-based full service carrier Malaysia Airlines also increased its daily Jakarta–Kuala Lumpur flight service from six to seven flights as of Dec. 15. (Jakarta Post)

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