Following a year of record profits, Emirates launches new Dubai initiatives for Canadians
Vickie Sam Paget

Don McWilliam, manager for Canada, Emirates & Robert Zuzek, president, Kompas Express

Emirates Airline's manager for Canada, Don McWilliam, announced the launch of brand new travel programs for Canadian travellers who want to visit the dynamic city of Dubai.

According to McWilliam, air traffic to the Middle Eastern city is set to see unprecedented levels of growth: “Dubai passenger traffic is expected to increase by 7.2 per cent annually over the next 10 years,” he explained. “It's expected to surpass London Heathrow.”

For this reason in part, one of Emirates’ new initiatives is the Dubai Stopover Program, a hotel and sightseeing package that provides a specialized UAE visa service via Emirates Airline’s fulfilment centre, meet-and-assist services, a VIP escort through Dubai Airport, hotel transfers and taxes and service charges. Dubai Stopover customers will also receive a free welcome pack that includes a Dubai Mall privilege discount booklet and 24-hour contact numbers.

Packages start at $39 per person per night, and passengers can choose from a range of city or beach locations – ranging from self-catered apartments to six-star hotels.

Robert Zuzek, president, Kompas Express

Kompas Express has been appointed by the airline as the official provider of the Dubai Stopover package for Canada, providing both passengers and travel agents with the ability to book with a local contact here in Canada.

“We’re delighted to be working with Emirates to make Dubai a more accessible travel destination for Canadians,” said Kompas Express president Robert Zuzek. “It is truly a fascinating and dynamic city that deserves to be showcased.”

Summer Smiles

McWilliam also launched Emirate's new 'Summer Smiles' campaign, which aims to make the Middle Eastern destination more affordable than ever before.

“Until the end of September, kids can fly for half fare and stay, play and eat for free,” explained McWilliam. This means that for every two paying adults, two kids up to the age of 12 are entitled to: half price flights, free entry to attractions like Aquaventure, the Dolphinarium and Ski Dubai, free accommodation at a number of approved hotels and apartments, free meals at selected outlets, a complimentary UAE visa, a meet-and-assist service on arrival and airport transfers to and from the hotel.

A record year

Don McWilliam, manager for Canada, Emirates

This new initiatives are being launched at the end of record year of profit for Emirates, which saw the group's cash balance rise substantially to hit a high of US$4.4 billion.

“Despite the ash cloud, the earthquakes and the snow, we've seen some very positive annual results for 2010 to 2011,” said McWilliam.

“Our overall global passenger traffic is up by 8.2 per cent, we have an 80 per cent passenger seat factor worldwide, and we are the number one airline in the world for our amount of international passenger kilometres flown.”

During the year, Emirates increased its order for new aircraft, adding 32 additional Airbus A380s and 30 Boeing 777-300ERs. The combined value of these orders was US$13.4 billion, bringing the airline’s total number of aircraft on order at the end of the financial year to 193.

Emirates also launched passenger services to six new destinations – Amsterdam, Prague, Al Medinah al Munawarah, Madrid, Dakar and Basra – as well as increasing its frequency and capacity.

The airline is set to start new routes to Geneva, Copenhagen, Buenes Aires and Rio de Janiero this year. McWilliams also hinted at the possibility of a new route out of the U.S. this year too.