Emirates Airlines launched its first nonstop passenger flight connecting Taiwan and Dubai on Monday, targeting growing demand from local tourists and businesspeople.
If demand picks up further, the Dubai-based carrier may begin to use its Airbus SAS-380 — the largest passenger plane in the world — for the route, Emirates chairman and chief executive officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said.
“Taiwan has been an important market for Emirates since we launched freighter services to Taipei in 2003,” the CEO told a press conference.
Emirates is scheduled to offer daily passenger flights between Taipei and Dubai, which may help build on the vibrant relationship in terms of trade and opportunities for business and tourism, al-Maktoum added.
The carrier set a competitive ticket price for the route.
A round ticket to any city in the Middle East covered by the airline is set at NT$30,886, including tax.
Once the overall passenger load for the route reaches 80 percent, the carrier will consider running one of its A380 planes, al-Maktoum said, adding that the pace of construction at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport may also be a factor to watch.
The inaugural flight — a Boeing Co 777-300ER aircraft — landed on Monday afternoon, making Emirates Airlines the first global carrier to enter the Taiwan market this year.
The return flight from Taipei to Dubai, which took off on Monday, was fully loaded, with 70 percent of the passengers expected to connect to other destinations from Dubai, Emirates Airlines vice president in Hong Kong and Taiwan Edwin Lau (劉榮柱) said.
Other than Taipei, Emirates Airlines now operates service to a total of 140 destinations in 80 countries from Dubai, the carrier said in a statement.
The carrier will operate a regular service to Kiev later this year, followed by the route to Taipei and then one to Boston, which will be launched on March 10, the statement said.