In an interview this afternoon with Irish Travel Trade News, Laurie Berryman, Emirates’ Vice President – UK & Ireland, revealed that, within two hours of going on sale today, seats were booked on the first 10 flights of the airline’s new Dublin – Dubai service, which starts on 9th January 2012. Emirates may also link up with an Irish tour operator to offer holiday packages.
“Our daily Dublin – Dubai service will have 183 seats in Economy, 42 in Business, and 12 in First Class,” he said. “Introductory fares are currently being finalised for tomorrow – and they will be very competitive.
“Seats went on sale two hours ago and I checked 15 minutes ago and we already have bookings on the first 10 flights – including six on the very first flight. Yes, I know yesterday’s Irish Travel eNews included Emirates’ new route!
“We will be starting the service at a good time of year – when there is business traffic, winter sun breaks and an early Easter – and we expect to achieve an overall load factor of 80% for the January – March 2012 quarter.
“The 237-seat A330-200 is the smallest aircraft in our fleet (they are all wide-bodied) and we may progress the size up, in perhaps two or three years time, to our largest aircraft, a B777 with 354 seats. We tend to start new routes with a daily service and increase aircraft size rather than flight frequency.
“Yes, comparisons will be made with Etihad, but there’s room in the market for both of us. We go onwards to some different destinations, for example to Perth in Australia, to New Zealand – we took many of the Rugby World Cup teams – and three times daily to Hong Kong. We expect 65-75% of ex-Dublin traffic to be for destinations beyond Dubai.
“Holiday packages? Yes, we will work with tour operators – we may extend the Emirates Tours UK programme operated by Dnata Travel (UK) or we may link up with Irish tour operators.”