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Emirates starts services to Southern Indian city of Cochin

Emirates’ inaugural flight to Cochin on Monday 2nd December 2002 has opened up a direct route to the south-western…

Emirates‘ inaugural flight to Cochin on Monday 2nd December 2002 has opened up a direct route to the south-western Indian state of Kerala, renowned as the green gateway of India.

The new operation brings the airline’s destinations in India to five, with Cochin joining Delhi in the north, Mumbai in the west, and Chennai and Hyderabad in the east.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Commercial Operations Director, was welcomed at Cochin’s Nedumbassery International Airport by an official delegation led by Professor K.V. Thomas, Minister of Tourism and Fisheries, Government of Kerala.

Speaking at a press conference at the airport, Mr Al Ghaith said: I would like to thank the Indian government for granting us the rights to operate this new service, three times a week, between Cochin and Dubai.

I would also like to thank the Kerala state government and the Indian Civil Aviation Authority for their efforts in making this service a reality.

We believe our new service will help strengthen the already warm relationship between Dubai and India. We are confident that this new service will be of benefit to us all, both as a busy route for Emirates and a popular destination for our customers, bringing you strong and steady business.

Professor Thomas congratulated Emirates for offering thrice weekly services to Dubai: A lot of Keralites are settled in the Gulf and the service by Emirates will be a boon to the people of Kerala.

Emirates has brought a new message of love. The new air link between India and Dubai will strengthen the friendship between the two countries. Emirates will also help Kerala to become a popular tourist destination.

Emirates is currently operating a temporary office in Cochin, at Muthoot Towers, M.G. Road.

A permanent office will be opened shortly in the city which will be managed by Pradeep Suvarna, Emirates’ newly-appointed Sales Manager for Kerala state.

A Mumbai native, Mr Suvarna has over two decades’ experience in the aviation industry and has been working in Dubai for the Emirates Group since 1995. He will work closely with Nabil Sultan, Emirates’ General Manager India & Nepal, who is based in Mumbai.

Emirates now flies three times a week, non-stop, between Dubai and Cochin, operating an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with a three-cabin service offering 18 First Class, 42 Business Class and 183 Economy Class seats.

The airline recently concluded a codeshare agreement with national carrier, Air India, giving its customers the opportunity to book seats on Emirates’ services between Dubai and Cochin.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Emirates’ flight EK530 departs Dubai at 0350hrs, arriving in Cochin at 0900hrs.

The return flight, EK531, leaves Cochin later in the morning at 1025hrs, touching down in Dubai at 1300hrs. All times are local.

The new service to Cochin enhances the comprehensive network of online and offline destinations in South India for customers of the airline’s air freight division, Emirates SkyCargo.

Cochin exports mainly handicrafts, spices, fish and perishables while personal effects form the bulk of imports.

Emirates SkyCargo operates a well-established bonded trucking system between Chennai and Hyderabad, plus Bangalore as an offline destination. Plans are in hand to include Cochin on the trucking network.

Emirates Holidays, the Middle East’s leading tour operator which specialises in tailor-made trips, is offering holiday packages to Kerala, including breaks at spa resorts.

Cochin is the 64th destination on the Emirates network, which covers 45 countries on four continents. The network will be further expanded next year when the airline starts services to Lagos on 31st March (subject to government approval), Moscow on 1st July and Shanghai on 2nd August.

Emirates is also planning to start operations to North America in 2003, with the delivery of the long-range Airbus A340-500 aircraft.

Photo: Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Commercial Operations Director, is presented with a bouquet on his arrival on the Emirates’ inaugural flight to Cochin by Professor K.V. Thomas (right), Minister of Tourism and Fisheries, Government of Kerala. Also seen is Nabil Sultan (left), Emirates’ General Manager India & Nepal.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.