EMIRATES, a Dubai-based airline that flies to nearly 150 destinations globally, is set for the launch of its Dubai-Yangon-Phnom Penh route on July 1.
The addition of the new route using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will make Emirates the only airline with a direct service between Myanmar’s commercial hub and Cambodia’s capital.
The new route is expected to encourage travel between both cities, said Mohammad Sarhan, the airline’s manager for Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.
“With this new route, we are happy to provide the only extant connection between Yangon and Phnom Penh, further bringing together the people and creating opportunities for these two Asean states,” he said in an interview.
“We evaluate our operations around the world and regularly review route plans. Accordingly, we adapt our business approach in accordance with market demands. We begin new routes where we know there is a demand for our services.”
Sarhan is confident that global and regional interests in both Phnom Penh and Yangon will make the new route as productive as many of Emirates’ routes around the world.
As Myanmar enters a new phase in its history, the airline expects that the country’s citizens and businesses will take advantage of the new route, given its uniqueness and convenience for the region.
The airline will operate one flight per day between Dubai and Myanmar from July 1.
Flights will depart Dubai at 9.15am local time, and will arrive in Yangon at 5.25pm. The plane will then depart Yangon at 6.55pm, arriving at Phnom Penh at 9.25pm.
On the return segment, the flight will depart Phnom Penh at 11.10pm and arrive in Yangon at 12.40am. It will then set off to Dubai at 2.10am, arriving at 5.40am.
Sarhan said the airline was dedicated to connecting passengers from Myanmar to a number of global destinations, including those in Europe and the Americas, via one seamless stop in Dubai.
The flights will offer two classes of travel – business and economy, with free baggage allowance up to 35 kilograms in economy class and 40kg in business class.
In terms of cargo, garments and clothing are expected to be popular exports from Phnom Penh on the route.
Despite growing competition in the aviation industry, Sarhan is confident that the carrier’s award-winning entertainment system with more than 2,500 channels and free Wi-Fi, premium-quality in-flight food and beverages and cargo services have set Emirates apart from its rivals.
Sarhan did not disclose how many passengers it targeted on the new route, according to its internal policies regarding passenger confidentiality. However, he said he was confident that the route would encourage people from Myanmar and Cambodia to explore new destinations as well as traditionally popular locations across the world.
Sarhan admitted that there were a variety of business challenges in the opening of the new route, as is true in many other nations.
However, the airline managed to overcome these with the authorities’ support.
Last year, Emirates launched a daily service from Dubai to Yangon and Hanoi, but that route will be replaced by the one to Phnom Penh.
With the introduction of a non-stop route between Dubai and Hanoi, Emirates passengers travelling to Hanoi will no longer stop in Yangon, starting from July 1.
Sarhan said the carrier would continue monitoring the performance of the route before it makes decisions about further expansion in the region.
“Should we decide to launch any new route in the region or globally, we will be sure to announce it when the time is right,” he said.