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Emirates still determined to serve Berlin and Stuttgart

Originally published on businesstraveller.com 10/05/2012   RSS

In its quest to serve Berlin and Stuttgart we find that Emirates is taking a different tack.

“It’s not that Germany is restrictive,” Andrew Parker the carrier’s senior VP public affairs told Reuters, “but it’s been over 10 years since we’ve been asking politely [for the right to serve Berlin and Stuttgart].”

Dubai’s national airline is currently restricted to serving four cities in Germany: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. It is understood that the German authorities would allow Emirates to add Berlin and Stuttgart to its network but only were it to sacrifice one of the existing four cities it serves. This is something which Emirates is not prepared to do.

To strengthen its case for additional traffic rights, Emirates has commissioned a study from the German Centre for Aerospace (DLR). It concluded that the country’s economy would benefit greatly were the Dubai carrier allowed to add these two cities to its network.

Adds Professor Dr Johannes Reichmuth, director of the DLR, “Our analysis shows that the German economy benefits significantly from the operations of Emirates in Germany. This economic benefit would rise further if Emirates received additional rights for Berlin and Stuttgart.”

Emirates’ executive VP and founder Sir Maurice Flanagan told Arabian Business, “[Lufthansa] can’t touch us in Germany, as the government seems to quite like us. Berlin is asking for us; Stuttgart is asking for us and we’ll get them sooner or later.”

The situation we find in these two major German cities is one which I highlighted in my April article “Hubs of Activity”. Important cities all over Europe lack long-haul connections with the outside world because of national airline policy.

Berlin and Stuttgart are underserved by long distance flights because Lufthansa prefers that residents of these two cities [who fly long-haul] change planes in Frankfurt or Munich.

Report by Alex McWhirter

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