Emirates will launch a daily flight to Prague from 1st July next year. The non-stop service to the Czech Republic's capital city is the 3rd new route to be announced by Emirates for 2010. Services to Tokyo begin 28th March and Amsterdam comes on stream from 1st May. More announcements are on the way, supported by continuing aircraft deliveries.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said: "This is another new and exciting development for Emirates, embracing a popular European tourist destination and an emerging market. We have been keen to add Prague to our six continent network, and now the time is right to start up our 24th European destination."
Sheikh Ahmed added: "We have already been carrying passengers from the Czech Republic through existing European points, such as Vienna. Now, customers can fly direct from Prague to Dubai, and onwards to Asia and the Far East, bringing more convenience and reduced travelling time. Amongst our cabin crew alone, we have more than 60 staff from the Czech Republic based in Dubai."
The Czech Republic has become increasingly prominent on the European tourism map, boasting a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the historic centre of Prague. Golf, spa and MICE offerings are also being developed.
Exports include manufactured goods, machinery, cars, transport equipment and beverages. Asian companies are amongst the key players investing in the country. Car giants Hyundai and Toyota have both established production plants.
Ram Menen, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, said: "The launch of services to Prague and the new trade channel it opens up is great news on the cargo side as it coincides with a continuing resurgence of cargo traffic globally. Emerging markets, such as the Czech Republic, play an important role in that equation."
In 2008, trading volume between the Czech Republic and the UAE reached USD 678 million, up 19% on 2007, with exports to the UAE contributing over 93%, according to figures from the Czech Embassy in Abu Dhabi. With a population of around 10 million, the Czech Republic became a member of the European Union in 2004.
Beginning 1st July, EK 139 will leave Dubai at 1030hrs and arrive in Prague at 1450hrs with a flight time of around six hours. The return flight, EK 140, departs Prague at 1620hrs and gets into Dubai at 0015hrs the following day. A 278-seat Airbus A330, offering 27 seats in Business Class and 251 in Economy will serve the route.