Emirates will launch Barcelona as its second passenger gateway into Spain from 3rd July, after doubling frequencies to Madrid from 1st July.
The airline is embarking on a major boost to its services in Spain on the heels of mounting demand for its Madrid service, launched in August 2010.
The new Barcelona flight, EK 185, will leave Dubai daily at 0655hrs and arrive in Barcelona at 1200hrs. The return service, EK 186, leaves Barcelona at 1640hrs and lands in Dubai at 0100hrs the following day.
Emirates’ 30th European destination will be served with a 360-seat Boeing 777-300ER, in a three-class arrangement. This includes eight First Class Private Suites and the award winning ice entertainment system throughout all cabin classes.
Barcelona, in the north east corner of Spain, is a popular tourist destination, boasting a wealth of gothic architecture, art galleries, sandy beaches and the Montserrat mountain range.
As capital of the Catalonia region, Barcelona is an important commercial city. It is an established centre for hi-tech and biomedical business and has one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean. Thousands of cruise passengers are amongst the city’s 7 million visitors per year.
On 1st July, in a further sign of commitment to Spain, Emirates will launch a second daily service to Madrid. EK 143 will also be operated with a three-class Boeing 777-300ER, departing Dubai daily 1425hrs and arriving in Madrid at 2020hrs. The return flight, EK 144, leaves Madrid at 2210hrs and arrives in Dubai at 0715hrs the next day.
“Emirates is making a very significant investment in Spain. To announce a new destination and a doubling of services to an existing gateway at the same time demonstrates our belief in the market and our commitment to the country, said Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline. “Madrid has been a strong performer and the demand is there for a second frequency, while we need a second point serving the dynamic Catalonia region.”
Catalonia receives approximately 25% of annual foreign investment in Spain and more than half of the Japanese, French, German, American, Italian and Dutch companies in Spain are located in the region, according to Barcelona City Council.
The city is home to a population of around 1.6 million people – a figure rising to more than 7 million across the Catalonia region.
“The new link between Dubai and Barcelona service will provide an efficient route to a wide range of Emirates’ destinations across Asia including Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and Singapore, all via our superb Terminal 3 in Dubai,” Mr Clark added.
The European Cities Monitor 2011 named Barcelona as the top European city for employees’ quality of living and the 6th most attractive city in Europe to do business.
While Emirates has been serving Spain with passenger flights since 2010, Emirates SkyCargo has been operating freighter services to Spain since 2006, largely in support of the country’s fashion industry. Clothes are also amongst Catalonia’s main exports to the Gulf, along with machinery, cosmetics, audio and video equipment, chemical products and fresh foodstuffs. Overall trade between Spain and the UAE reached AED 4.15 billion (US $1.13 billion) in 2010, according to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade.