DUBAI, UAE – Emirates will start flights to Portugal’s capital city Lisbon from July 9, the airline said in a statement.
“The airline, further extending its European reach, will start a daily service to Lisbon in the south west corner of Europe just six days after launching flights to Barcelona in neighbouring Spain,” the Emirates statement said.
Emirates will serve Lisbon with a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, offering first, business and economy class seats. Flight EK191 will leave Dubai at 9.15am each day and arrive in Lisbon at 2.45pm. The return flight, EK192, will depart Lisbon at 5.55pm and arrive at Dubai at 4.35am the next day, the statement said.
The Portuguese capital becomes Emirates’ 31st European destination.
“Lisbon has been on our European wish-list for some time. Our daily flight will link this far western corner of Europe with our strong route network, via Dubai, into Africa, across Asia and beyond,” said Tim Clark, Emirates president.
“We will be the only carrier based in the Middle East operating into Portugal, bringing our refreshing approach to customer service, our dynamic and inspiring approach to business, along with superb value for money,” Clark added.
Portugal has a population of around 10 million, of which nearly two million live in Lisbon and its suburbs. It is estimated there are some 200 million Portuguese speakers around the world, making it the third most spoken European language globally, according to Visit Portugal.
Through its international hub in Dubai, Emirates serves many of the destinations where Portuguese is spoken including Goa, Angola, Brazil and Hong Kong — gateway to the former Portuguese enclave of Macau.
Since joining the European Union in the mid-1980s, Portugal’s traditional focus on an agricultural economy has become increasingly diversified, with a steady expansion of the service sector.
“We are delighted to welcome Emirates to Lisbon and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with our newest airline client,” said Lisbon airport director João Nunes.
“Emirates have established a high level of excellence and admiration within the aviation community and we are confident that passengers will be eager to take advantage of the new route for travel to the Middle East and beyond.
“Connectivity is essential for business and for tourism and this new flight and the onward connections that it will provide will be very beneficial for the Portuguese economy,” Nunes added.
As one of Europe’s warmest countries, Portugal is a popular tourist destination. Its better known attractions, such as the resorts of the Algarve, are supplemented by medieval castles and scenic villages dotted around winding coastlines and hillsides.
Portugal has more than 800km of Atlantic coast and is the primary point of access to the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira.
In Lisbon, visitors can sip an expresso on the leafy streets, go window shopping in Chiado Square, visit Jeronimos Monastery, the World Heritage Site and resting place for Vasco da Gama, or view treasured art at places such as Calouste Gulbenkian and Berardo museums.
Lisbon was recently ranked the seventh best city in Europe for shopping by the ‘Globe Shopper City Index’ of The Economist Intelligence Unit.
The city also ranks eighth in the world for international conferences and events, according to the International Conferences and Congress Association (ICCA).