15 December 2015

Emirates looks to west and central China in expansion of network

Source: Emirates. Left: The routes will be served by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft; centre: Erqi Square District, Zhengzhou; right: Jade Emperor Pavilion, Yinchuan.

Emirates will expand its services in mainland China with four weekly flights to Yinchuan (INC) and Zhengzhou (CGO), utilising a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, from 3 May 2016. These services will offer new international connectivity for two of China’s fastest growing cities, and expand Emirates’ destination offering on the mainland to five, the other cities being Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia, lies to the west of the Yellow River and to the east of Helan Mountain. With a large Muslim population, it serves as a gateway connecting China to Arab countries, and is positioned as a hub for economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchange between China and the Middle East.

Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province and a major transportation interchange for central China, is an educational, technological and economic centre. The second largest city in central China, Zhengzhou’s strategic location has enabled the city to become one of the largest economic hubs in China.

“With the opening of these new strategic routes, Emirates looks forward to contributing to the enhancement of China’s trade links with the rest of the world, in particular with the UAE and Arab world. We believe the new international air links that we are launching will help create tourism and trade opportunities for Chinese business and leisure travellers that may not otherwise exist,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

“With our established network across Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Emirates is a ready-made connector of people and trade, and we look forward to further developing aviation links with China in a mutually beneficial way.”

Emirates has been a large part of the China growth story, being the first airline to establish non-stop connectivity between the Middle East and mainland China, first with freighter operations to Shanghai starting in 2002, followed by passenger services in 2004. Emirates’ new services will connect Yinchuan and Zhengzhou with new destinations via a connection in Dubai, and help boost trade and tourism flows to the growing central and western parts of China where these cities are located.

Emirates flights to Yinchuan and Zhengzhou will depart on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Dubai as EK326 at 02:45 arriving at Yinchuan Hedong International Airport at 13:35. The service will then depart from Yinchuan at 15:20 and arrive at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport at 17:00. The return flight, EK327, will depart Zhengzhou at 21:10, arriving at Yinchuan at 22:55. It will then depart Yinchuan at 00:40, arriving in Dubai at 04:30 the next day*. Timings of the new service have been scheduled to allow for seamless connections to many Middle East, European and African destinations.

Passengers travelling on Emirates’ Boeing 777-200LR will be able to enjoy the airline’s entertainment system with up to 2,000 channels of on-demand content, including Mandarin language movies and music. Emirates flights to and from China feature Mandarin-speaking cabin crew on board, and inflight cuisine options with popular Chinese dishes. 

The services will be operated by a three class configured Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, offering 266 seats and 14 tonnes of cargo capacity in the belly hold. As with all Emirates flights, passengers travelling on the Yinchuan and Zhengzhou services will enjoy the Emirates baggage allowance of 30kg in economy class, 40 kg in business class and 50 kg in first class. 

Popular commodities expected to be transported on these services include electronics, such as mobile phones from Zhengzhou, and agricultural products such as goji berries and cashmere from Yinchuan.

“As China's regions continue to open up to the global economy, Emirates remains keen to support this with the further expansion of air services in mainland China. In particular we’re interested in exploring the opportunity of daily services to Hangzhou and Chongqing, and a second daily service to Guangzhou,” added HH Sheikh Ahmed.

Ties between Dubai and China continue to grow stronger. A growing number of Chinese banks and businesses are establishing branches within Dubai’s business and financial districts and the city is now home to over 3,000 Chinese companies and 200,000 Chinese residents. Growth in visitor numbers to Dubai from China grew by 25% in 2014.

*Flight times are as per summer schedule