Emirates expects to fly 70 mn passengers in 2020

Dubai, Oct 24 (IANS/WAM) Emirates airline expects to fly 70 million passengers in 2020, and the airline and its partners in Dubai are already progressing on plans to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place to support and capitalise on this growth.

The carrier, in a press release Wednesday, said these plans were unveiled by Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, at a presentation to delegates of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), who are visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to make their final decision on the host city for the World Expo 2020. Dubai is a candidate city.

"By 2020, we will have more than 250 aircraft serving some 70 million passengers across six continents. It will make us the largest airline on the planet by international passenger traffic," said Clark.

He, however, added that being the biggest airline in the world is not really Emirates airline's end goal.

"Our aim has always been to connect travellers from around the world to Dubai, and other destinations with just a single stop via our hub. The strategic location of Dubai makes it possible for us to serve almost 90 percent of the world's population with non-stop flights, for example our 16-hour Dubai-to-Houston service on the Boeing 777-300ER, or our 14-hour Dubai-to-Sydney flight with the Airbus A380," Clark said.

Emirates is currently the largest operator of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, with an order book for 53 and 64 more of each aircraft type, respectively. By 2020, it will have over 250 aircraft in its all-wide body fleet.

Visitor and traffic growth at Dubai International airport has grown tremendously in the past decade, with international passenger numbers virtually doubling from 24.8 million in 2005 to 47.2 million in 2010.

Last year, the airport handled 57 million passengers from 225 destinations, travelling in on more than 140 airlines including Emirates.

In 2020, Dubai expects to welcome over 20 million visitors and airport infrastructure is being geared up to meet this demand.

--IANS/WAM

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