Emirates’ new UK boss has hailed the launch of the airline’s first new UK route for more than a decade – with another due to start in October.
The airline’s Dubai to Stansted service will fly every day, taking Emirates’ total daily flights between Dubai and London to 10.
The launch is the first under new UK divisional vice-president Richard Jewsbury, who replaced retiring Laurie Berryman in April.
“It’s been an exciting start. We’ve launched Stansted – our first new route since Newcastle in 2007 – and we’ve got Edinburgh in October,” Jewsbury told TTG.
“While we’ve added frequency in that time and brought the A380 to the UK, these are our first new routes for a while, which is always exciting.
“It’s just been a question of timing and opportunity. It’s an extension of our long-term commitment to the UK. We have a history of adding flights and upgrading our aircraft.”
Asked whether adding Stansted and Edinburgh signalled a renewed focus on new routes rather than just adding capacity, Jewsbury said the airline always considered both options.
“It’s not just one or the other,” he said. “New routes, yes, but we’ll be managing and maintaining capacity growth to our existing gateways.”
Jewsbury said with Emirates now operating out of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, the airline was able to serve more of London than ever.
The first Stansted flights achieved a load factor of around 80% said Jewsbury, signalling “very strong demand” for the new service.
On Edinburgh, Jewsbury said while Emirates had a “proud history” at Glasgow airport where it operates a double daily service, Edinburgh flights would open up a historic destination, famed for its culture.
“We looked at taking the A380 to Glasgow or adding a third flight but we decided Edinburgh was the best opportunity at this time,” he said.
Jewsbury also touched on Emirates’ new “windowless” suites, which replace traditional aircraft windows with projections.
“It’s something we’ve been experimenting with,” he said. “We’re pleased with how it’s working, and there may be further opportunities down the line with Boeing and Airbus through lighter, stronger fuselages to have an even more effective product.
“While we have no immediate plans for completely windowless aircraft, it underlines we are an organisation that looks ahead and is hands-on in terms of product design.”