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Emirates pushes for increased connectivity between Phl, UAE

MANILA, Philippines - Emirates is pushing for increased air transport connectivity between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the back of the growing travel demand from entrepreneurs, executives, and international travellers.

The Gulf carrier said in a statement that air travel services between Dubai and the Philippines is expected to grow further in tandem with the many developments in the UAE.

The airline cited the Dubai Expo 2020 that is expected to generate 275,000 jobs and offer immense opportunities for Filipino talent in the hospitality, engineering, information technology (IT) and medical services sectors.

It expects the number of Filipinos working and living in Dubai to exceed one million by 2020 from the current 850,000. Remittances from Filipinos in Dubai jumped 31.4 percent to $1.26 billion last year from $960 million in 2012.

Emirates sees consumer demand for air services between Manila and Dubai to reach 910,000 seats per year or about 41 flights a week using the Boeing 777.


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 “This does not take into account travel demand from entrepreneurs and corporates, or international travellers from other global cities who connect in Dubai onwards to the Philippines, which, if included, will increase the projected capacity required on the route to 50 flights a week,” the airline said.

Barry Brown, divisional senior vice president for Commercial Operations East of Emirates, said the airline has carried 6.5 million Filipinos, international tourists, and business travellers as well as over 150,000 tons of cargo since 1990.

There are 35 flights a week between Manila and Dubai contributing to a healthy and growing bilateral trade relationship between the Philippines and UAE.

 “We currently operate three daily flights between Dubai and Manila, which not only serves the growing demand for travel between both countries, but also connects the Philippines with over 800 flights a week to other key cities in our global network – cities which are currently not served by airlines of the Philippines,” Brown said.

The network enables travellers from the GCC, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, to easily reach the Philippines with just one convenient stop in Dubai.

 “In recent years, other airlines have also started services between the Philippines and the UAE, and we see this as a positive move which ultimately benefits consumer choice, and also illustrates the healthy demand and potential for traffic growth,” Brown said.

Marilu Ngo, president of Philippines IATA Agents Travel Association (PIATA), warned that the decision of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to remove the third daily flight of Emirates would result in higher ticket prices.

 “Removing one of Emirates’ third daily flights ultimately means reduced travel options for Filipinos, not only to Dubai and Middle Eastern destinations, but also to Africa, Europe and Latin America during the peak season month of travel. Thus, creating a high-demand, limited supply situation that could impact ticket prices as well,” Ngo said.

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