Emirates Airline to Open Dubai-Petersburg Service
Published: June 17, 2011 (Issue # 1661)
St. Petersburg expects to receive more tourists from Asia, Middle East and Africa when Emirates Airline begins daily flights from St. Petersburg to Dubai on November 1.
The all-year-round flights by one of the world’s largest air companies will allow for easy business and tourist trips to the United Arab Emirates, a spokesperson for the Russian Union of Travel Industry said.
In addition, the convenient layover in Dubai airport will give St. Petersburg residents a chance to travel to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and Pacific islands, said Sergei Korneyev, vice president of the Russian Tourism Industry Union.
St. Petersburg has developed a “major dependence on European tourists,” he said. The presence of a large airline like Emirates on the St. Petersburg market will allow tourists from China, Vietnam, India, Japan and other Asian countries easy access to the city as well, Korneyev said, Interfax reported.
Work on persuading Emirates Airline to fly to St. Petersburg has been in progress for several years. The airline’s arrival in the city was the result of a program for the development of the city’s airport route network, Yevgeny Ilyin, commercial director for aviation activities at Northern Capital Air Gate, said.
“That’s why we’re very happy to be welcoming the Emirates Airline at Pulkovo airport. Our passengers will have a chance to access the high service level offered by the company,” Ilyin said.
His Majesty Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, leader of the Emirates and Emirates Group, said the company saw major potential in the Russian market and that the success of its flights to Moscow proved the high demand for the company’s service in Russia, Emirates Air Company said.
“St. Petersburg is a good destination because many tourists visit the city to see its magnificent architecture, museums, theaters and breathtaking history,” said Saeed Al Maktoum.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the most popular destinations for Russian tourists and investors, and thousands of Russians live in the country permanently, the company said.
Emirates Airline will operate flights to and from St. Petersburg using the wide-body Airbus-340-300 and Airbus 330-200 aircraft. Both offer three service classes, including first class, business class and economy.
As one of a few airlines operating flights to St. Petersburg on wide-body aircraft, Emirates SkyCargo will be able to offer new opportunities for Russian air cargo transport. It will decrease the need to use overland transport, the company said.
The flights will allow a wide range of goods from Japan, India, Singapore, China, South Africa, Kenya and Australia to be brought to the city. The range of goods will include medicine, car parts, clothes, electronics, flowers and other perishable products, it said.
From St. Petersburg the airline plans to transport spare parts for electric power stations, aircraft and ships, as well as machinery equipment to Japan, Iran, India, China, Vietnam and Angola.
St. Petersburg’s Emirates flight will leave Dubai at 10:35 a.m., landing in the city at 4:15 p.m. The return flight will depart from St. Petersburg at 5:45 p.m., landing in Dubai’s international airport at 12:35 a.m.
Emirates began its flights to Russia in 2003 with flights to Moscow. Currently it operates two flights from Moscow a day.