Dubai-based Emirates airline will augment its flight operations from the State to its hub in Dubai in a phased manner by increasing the frequencies from Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode from October 2009 onwards.

The airline will increase the number of flights from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai from the present 8 to 11 a week from October 26 onwards. In the second phase, one more flight will be introduced in the sector from December.

“With this, the number of flights operated by the airline in the Dubai-Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai sector will go up from the present 8 to 12,” Sales Manager, South Kerala, Emirates, Asha Subramanian told a press conference here on Thursday.

The increase in the frequency of flights to Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram will offer better connectivity to various destinations and reduce the transit time to two hours for onward passengers at Dubai international airport.

The number of weekly flights from Dubai to Kozhikode will also be increased from the present 6 to 9 from October 26 onwards and to 11 from December onwards as part of increasing the frequencies to the State.

The number of weekly seats offered by the airline from Dubai to the Thiruvananthapuram sector will go up from the present 2200 to 3300 and from 1800 to 3200 in the Kozhikode sector by December. The airlines is offering 4500 seats on a weekly basis in the Dubai-Kochi-Dubai sector.

Mrs. Subramanian said the airline had witnessed promising growth in traffic from the capital with approximately 25 to 30 per cent increase in the bookings since its inception in February 1, 2006 in the sector. “The demand for our services and the support the airline received has resulted in robust business. We have a load factor of 75 per cent and we expect the demand for our services to grow with the competitive fares,” she added.

The airline is also expecting greater international tourist traffic to the State.

Emirates will introduce the B 777-200 aircraft on the Dubai-Thiruvananthapuram sector from December offering 27 Business and 251 Economy seats in addition to the modern A 330-200 aircraft operated in the sector by the airline at present.

Cargo Manager, Kerala, Emirates, V. M. Dinesh, who was also present at the press conference, said the total uplift of cargo from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai will go up from the present 120 tonnes a week to 168 tonnes with the increase in the frequencies. The total uplift of cargo in the State will also go up from the present 340 tonnes to 440 tonnes a week by December.

Mrs. Subramanian said the introduction of flights will be complimented by attractive return Economy class fares from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai, London, New York and Durban. The fares will be valid till November 30, 2009. The Business class passengers travelling to select destinations on Emirates network can also avail of special companion free offer.