Dubai-based carrier Emirates has announced that it will begin a third daily service to Birmingham from August 1, 2015.
The service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER and will also offer a direct first class service to the region for the first time, the airline said in a statement.
The additional service will add seven more inbound flights a week to Birmingham, increasing passenger and cargo capacity by 42 per cent.
“Stepping up our presence in Birmingham will give customers across our network and across the Midlands, greater flexibility in their travel plans,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, commercial operations west.
“This is another significant investment in the UK market and we look forward to offering further choice and excellent value for money to travellers and businesses, including the cargo community.”
Emirates first began flying to Birmingham in December 2000 with a daily non-stop service operated by a 278-seat Airbus A330. The airline has carried over 4.9 million passengers on this route since then, the statement added.
Popular destinations on the Emirates network from Birmingham include Dubai, Australia, India, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
“Emirates’ decision to add a third daily service to Dubai and beyond from Birmingham Airport clearly shows the strong demand that exists in the city and the region for passengers who want connectivity to Dubai, Asia and Australia,” said Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport CEO.
Aside from Birmingham, the airline currently operates flights to London, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.
Tapping into the strong demand on its UK-Dubai route, Emirates recently upgraded its services to London’s Gatwick and Heathrow incorporating the A380 superjumbo on those routes. The airline also operates the superjumbo on its Manchester-Dubai route.
Emirates, which reported an eight per cent growth in half year profit in 2014, has launched a number of new routes this year. The carrier started services to Abuja, Chicago, Oslo and Brussels in 2014 while increasing frequency and capacity on its existing routes.