For years regular travellers have wondered why Emirates did not offer a passenger service to Amsterdam. Although the Dubai carrier has operated cargo flights into Holland’s leading city for the past 15 years, there has been no sign of any passenger service until today’s announcement.
On May 1 Emirates says it will fly daily out of Amsterdam to Dubai using a combination of B777-200LR and larger B777-300ERs. All planes will be fitted with the latest seating in economy, business and first class.
Emirates will be the sole Gulf-based airline flying out of Amsterdam. On the route to Dubai it will compete with Dutch carrier KLM also using B777s. Currently the latter operates 12 times a week but flights are two-class as KLM does not offer first class.
One reason why Emirates has taken so long to make up its mind is because the Dutch home market is limited in scope. Most of KLM’s passengers are sourced from elsewhere and are using Amsterdam as a transit point.
But Emirates can play the transit card at its home base. Emirates will be promoting not just Dubai but also the possibility of making onward connections. The latter will be the key to making this new route a success.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum chairman and chief executive of Emirates says, “Amsterdam is already an important offline market for Emirates and we know there is significant passenger traffic heading from Amsterdam to Dubai and onto Africa, the Indian sub-continent, Asia and the Far East.”
Emirates’ links with Jakarta, for example, will surely appeal to the strong links between Holland and Indonesia as will its many services to Australia where there is also a good number of Dutch expats.
Flight EK146 will depart Amsterdam at 1530 to reach Dubai at 2359 the same day. Inbound service EK145 will leave Dubai at 0825 and arrive in Amsterdam at 1330.
But not everything in the garden is lovely. Emirates currently operates to Dubai twice daily out of nearby Dusseldorf (an airport serving Germany’s industrial heartland) across the border. With the problems the airline is having over its pricing policies in Germany (see http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/german-gov-tells-emirates-to-raise-fares) one wonders whether its Dusseldorf service will remain unchanged. Only time will tell.
For more information visit emirates.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter