Emirates makes flying to South America easier

New service flying five times a week, with have a stopover at Sao Paulo, Brazil

United Arab Emirates, July 8, 2018

Emirates airline is expecting a strong seat occupancy rate of over 80 per cent on its newly-launched Dubai-Chile route and will also try to cash in on its strong network in Asia and the Middle East to connect with South America, a senior official said.

'We have high expectations on the Chile route as the start was very promising and we reached beyond 80 per cent capacity booking. We are delighted to see passengers from a variety of nationalities such as Brazil, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia becoming part of the inaugural flight,' said Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice-president for commercial operations West at Emirates.

He noted that now Emirates can connect leisure and business travellers from China, Korea, Japan and India and other Asian and Middle Eastern countries to South America.

Flying five times a week, the flight will also have a stopover at Sao Paulo, Brazil. With the addition of this latest destination, Emirates now flies to 161 destinations including four in South America. The airline has introduced a special inaugural promotional return fare of $1,119 (Dh4,100) for Dubai-Chile the service.

'Dubai is, geographically, perfectly located to bring low and less travel time connections. It is connecting Asia, [the Indian] Subcontinent and the Middle East to South America via Dubai,' he said, adding that most of the passengers will be on leisure trips from Dubai.

Also, there are a good number of Middle Eastern and Chinese communities in Chile who will go to meet their relatives there through this connection, Franch said during the launch of airline's inaugural flight to Santiago, Chile.

On adding more destinations to Emirates' global network in South America, he said Panama is still on the cards although no announcement is imminent. 'We are still looking at it but it is not an easy assessment and we have to map with global demand. We have to see how it fits in fleet size, composition and global network developments on the airline.'

The Dubai carrier has also agreed with LatAm, through which it caters over 40 destinations in South America.

Scott Lantz, area manager for Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, said the carrier definitely sees an increase in traffic between Brazil and Chile on the Emirates flight.

'We are trying to push Dubai as a destination too and are trying to educate people about it. There are a plenty of things to do, for example, golfing, families, beaches, shopping, etc.'

Replying to a query about the impact of the closure of a runway at Dubai International Airport next year on the airline's route and operational network, Franch said: 'Dubai will see runway refurbishment next year and it will require certain capacity reductions. It also require retimings and changes in aircraft we operate so it will have an impact; we are working with Dubai airport for mapping out our strategy for the next year. We have strong commitment to South America and this inaugural flight to Chile is testament to it.'

Monica Zalaquet, subsecretary of tourism in Chile, said her government is interested in promoting tourism in remote areas which means people will stay longer and it will have more economic benefits.

'The main goal of the government is to attract more people from remote areas for tourism to boost the economy,' she added.