Emirates is targeting one million passengers out of four UK regional airports within two years, its UK vice president Laurie Berryman has revealed.
Speaking at the Hays Travel Independence Group conference, Berryman said the one million figure was a”personal target” for passenger numbers out of Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow. He stressed the UK trade would continue to be a vital part of the group’s growth strategy.
“My team has always believed the trade is vital to Emirates in the UK and that policy will continue for the forseable future. Our commitment to the UK will grow,” he said.
In 2012 the airline carried 800,000 passengers out of the UK. It operates 16 flights a day, with regional flights out of Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow in addition to its London Gatwick services.
The airline’s recent tie-up with Qantas would make Australasia much more easily accessible from the UK, he added.
Berryman, the pre-dinner speaker at this year's conference, also outlined the airline’s plans to grow globally using its Dubai hub. “There is a huge opportunity for that global hub to keep on growing,” he said.
Currently the airline carries 38 million passengers a year and it is already involved in building a new airport in Dubai for when it outgrows its existing capacity in the city.
This story was updated on March 26. The original story stated that Emirates was targeting one million passengers from the UK. This has since been amended to clarify that the target relates to the carrier's four regional airports.
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