EMIRATES HAS INTRODUCED a larger aircraft on its Dublin-Dubai route to cater for increased passenger demand, two months ahead of its scheduled introduction.
The Boeing 777-300 was due to be rolled out on the daily route from July, but has been introduced from last week in order to cater for higher-than-expected demand for seats on the route.
The service began operation with an Airbus A330-200, with space for 237 passengers, on January 9, but Emirates announced within three weeks of that launch that it would roll out the larger Boeing craft from July.
From May 1, however, the larger Boeing craft – which also increases the storage capacity for luggage, from 15 tonnes to 25 – has been running on the route in order to satisfy the demand.
Emirates’ senior vice-president for commercial operations in Europe and Russia, Salem Obaidalla, said the airline had continued to be impressed by the ”phenomenal performance” of the new service.
“Now, Ireland has one of the largest aircraft in our fleet and we can now offer 52 per cent more seats.”
The airline has previously said that the capacity offered by the Airbus craft, which allowed 3,318 people to travel from Dublin to Dubai and back each week, would usually be enough to cater for the first two or three years of a new route.
By comparison, the Boeing craft will mean a weekly capacity of 5,040 on flights to and from Dubai. Emirates runs one flight in each direction each day.
Robert Hilliard, the chief operations officer at the Dublin Airport Authority, said Dublin had been “a resounding success” for Emirates.
The expansion of the Dublin route comes amid a year of major expansion for the airline, which is owned by the government of Dubai. The airline has begun flights from Dubai to six other destinations worldwide, and will begin flying to four more later in the year.