TAIPEI (CNA) – Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, said that after fives years of operations on its Taipei-Dubai route it still believes there is strong growth potential over the next few years.
Sixty-five percent growth in passenger numbers in just five years is amazing, Fernando Suarez de Gongora, Emirates vice president for Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Taiwan, said in an interview in Taipei Wednesday.
Since its launch in February 2014, the Taipei-Dubai route has been one of the best performers among more than 20 routes that went into service at about the same time, Suarez de Gongora said.
Citing statistics compiled by the airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Suarez de Gongora said 1.3 million passengers have traveled on the route over the past five years.
The number of passengers who flew by Emirates between the two cities in 2018 was 65 percent higher than 2014, clear evidence that Emirates made the right decision in launching the route, he said.
For the first two years, the airline used the 360-seat B777 on the daily route, but now uses the 500-seat A380 to serve more passenger, he noted.
Suarez de Gongora said he is impressed by the strong growth potential of the Taiwanese market, which has facilitated the high-level performance of the route.
The Taipei-Dubai route provides Taiwanese passengers with an option to fly to Dubai, from where they can transfer to other parts of the world and vice visa, he said.
More than 20 percent of local passengers flying on the route are heading to Dubai, while the others transfer to flights bound for cities in Europe, according to data provided by Emirates.
Barcelona, Lisbon, Rome, Cairo and Istanbul are some of the more popular destinations from Dubai, data showed.
Although Emirates does not currently plan to add flights to the route, Suarez de Gongora said such a development remains a possibility.
By S.F. Wang and Flor Wang