As oil business in Iraq increases, Emirates responds with new service beginning on February 2, 2011.
Emirates will launch services to Basra, Iraq from February 2, 2011, marking the carrier’s 110th international destination and the sixth to launch in the 2010-2011 financial year.
Emirates’ Basra service will operate four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, subject to Government approval. The flight will be operated by an Airbus A330, in a three-class configuration, First Class, Business Class and Economy Class on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and in a two-class configuration, Business Class and Economy Class, on Mondays.
“Basra is a significant market for Emirates. The city’s recent growth has paved the way for numerous multinational companies and industries to invest in infrastructure and we have seen strong potential from a number of our markets,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group. “Since the 2009 oil field bid, traffic from the US and Europe into Basra has increased significantly and we are ready to capitalize on this growth.”
EK 945 will depart Dubai at 1:45 p.m. and touch down at Basra International Airport at 2:45 p.m. the same day. At 4:15 p.m., return flight EK 946 will depart Basra landing in Dubai at 7:10 p.m.
Emirates’ convenient flight times and good connections make the airline an excellent choice for US corporate business travelers to Basra from any of the airline’s four US gateways in New York (JFK), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).
Well positioned, close to the oil fields and the Gulf, Basra continues to attract investments from major corporations around the globe. Key inbound markets for Emirates will include oil and petroleum companies from the US and Europe, as well as Iraqi diaspora.
Outbound traffic from Basra will be skewed towards local Iraqis. As the economy recovers and rebuilds, a large segment of the local population are expected to make use of this new service.
As the city is re-established, Emirates will be importing a range of commodities that will facilitate the city’s redevelopment. The airline expects to uplift around 10-12 tons of cargo per flight, using the belly-hold capacity on the wide-bodied passenger aircraft. Key imports will range from perishable foodstuffs and garments to electronics and oil well equipment – from all corners of the world.
Local authorities in Basra have also started developing plans to attract inbound tourism with one of the city’s most iconic hotels, the Sheraton, recently reopening for business.