Emirates airline is set to start daily flights to Cebu and Clark in the Philippines as it taps demand from Dubai’s vast Filipino expatriate population.
From March 30, Emirates will fly a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the routes with a two-class configuration, the carrier said.
“This new service will help to enhance the Philippines’ trade links with the rest of the world and boost incoming tourism,” said Thierry Antinori, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Emirates. “[It will also] offer more flexibility for overseas workers departing Philippines or looking for options to fly home,” he said.
Currently, there are over 900,000 Filipinos living in the UAE, most of them in Dubai. The new daily flights to Cebu and Clark will also further connect the two destinations to 39 cities in Europe and 16 in the Middle East via the Emirates network.
This is in addition to other destinations in Africa and the Americas that are flown by Emirates.
The aircraft used on the route will have the capacity to carry 14 tonnes of cargo. Etihad also said last month that it would start three new weekly flights from Abu Dhabi to Manila on May 1. The services will include connections to Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Jeddah, Kuwait and Riyadh, the top 10 destinations for travellers to and from the Philippines.
Emirates currently flies two daily flights to Manila.
The airline had operated a third daily flight to Manila, but the Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board (Cab) decided not to extend Emirates right to operate the third flight in 2014.
The board also slapped Emirates with US$40,627 in fines for selling tickets up to March 2015.
Emirates for a period of nearly two years operated three flights a day between Dubai and Manila. The Dubai airline operated the third flight through a code-share agreement with Philippines Airlines (PAL).
Last February, the Philippine aeronautics board told The National that Emirates had "elevated" the dispute to a higher body, the Philippines' presidential office, which was looking into the matter.
Emirates launched flights to Manila in 1990 to serve the thousands of Filipino expats in the UAE.
The Dubai carrier said previously that that its daily flights to the Philippines supports thousands of jobs in the islands nation through direct employment, as well as catering, ground handling jobs and other posts related to air travel services.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter