Emirates to halve Scottish flights

30 Jul 2013 by Alex McWhirter

Scottish travellers may not know it yet, but in summer 2014 Emirates will halve the number of flights it operates between Glasgow and Dubai.

As Business Traveller previously reported (see online news, May 17), Dubai airport will be undergoing runway maintenance for 80 days between May 1 and July 20.

And because Dubai is a very busy airport it means that during this time many flights will have to be rescheduled.

Business Traveller has checked all Emirates flights to and from the UK during the above period and, although there may be further changes ahead, only the Glasgow service appears to be a victim of the Dubai runway closure.

In April 2014, Emirates will, as now, operate a twice daily service between Glasgow and Dubai. The carrier's website lists flight EK028 departing at 1415 with EK026 leaving at 2130. Between Dubai and Glasgow there are flights EK027 at 0750 and EK025 at 1510.

But from May 1, Emirates will operate only EK026 and EK025.

Why is the move significant? Simply, because around 65 per cent of Emirates passengers departing the UK are bound for destinations beyond Dubai, especially those in Asia and Australasia.

A flight capacity cut by 50 per cent will mean either one of two things. There will either be a seat shortage or fares will rise for those Scottish travellers who prefer the convenience of their local airport.

Alternatively, they may prefer to fly Emirates from Newcastle, Manchester or London. Or they may wish to choose another airline. The latter option might be preferable as Dubai is probably best avoided during the dates shown above.

Emirates was asked to comment but would not discuss the matter other than saying that a number of flights - over the entire network, not just the UK - would have to be rescheduled to reflect the runway closures.

Alex McWhirter

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