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Multiple Carriers Battle It Out Over the London to Dubai Route

Multiple Carriers Battle It Out Over the London to Dubai Route
Jackie Reddy

Very popular and highly saturated, the busy route between London and Dubai is currently served by multiple carriers. The years have seen competition increase and a number of big names drop out of the market. Virgin Atlantic is one casualty of this intense competition, as is Royal Brunei Airlines.

The route between London and Dubai is a well-traveled one, Arabian Business reports. The years have seen multiple carriers come and go between Britain and the Gulf city. While Emirates, Etihad and British Airways (BA) have either increased or are holding their services steady to Dubai from a number of London airports, two other carriers – namely Virgin Atlantic and Royal Brunei Airlines – have pulled their connectivity.

According to the outlet, “As the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects Middle Eastern carriers to report an $800m net profit in 2019, London to Dubai carriers are battling sky high competition.”

However, those within the industry say that the decision to pull out of this particular market isn’t always down to this intense level of competition. In the case of Royal Brunei, Tobias Rueckerl, CEO of Advanced Aviation Consulting (ADAVCO), states that the airline made its decision based on “new technical possibilities.” 

With the appearance of the Boeing 787, there is now the possibility, with the right-sized aircraft, to operate non-stop between London and Bandar Seri Begawan, which offers a clear advantage instead of a one-stop route through Dubai. There is no need to stop to refuel,” he explains.

But as for Virgin Atlantic’s decision to leave the market, Rueckerl says, “London to Dubai is a challenging market for any airline to operate once daily, as Virgin did. Emirates operates 10 daily flights to London, including six to London Heathrow, three to London Gatwick, and one to London Stansted.”

He further adds that the vacuum created by Virgin’s departure from the market allowed Etihad to increase its number of flights to Abu Dhabi.

Offering his insight into the future of the market, Rueckerl said, “It’s now over to Emirates and British Airways to offer non-stop flights between the two cities of London and Dubai,” adding, “I think it is economically viable that Etihad and Emirates will join forces and become one company. It could happen anytime soon.”

Etihad failed to offer any comment to the outlet, but British Airways said that it “regularly reviews its extensive global network.”

Emirates commented by saying that, “London is a major global destination for both leisure and business travellers and is one of Emirates’ top performing markets, attracting high traffic volumes, not just between Dubai and London, but also from across Emirates network, especially from markets in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The UK capital is a leading aviation hub, providing convenient connections for Emirates passengers to the rest of the UK and wider Europe. Emirates provides a strong customer proposition with more choices through a greater range of timings and connections from London to our network of over 150 destinations via Dubai,” the airline added.

[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

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1 Comment

  1. mizzou miles

    June 22, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    This is just a silly piece of “journalism”

    First off, Etihad has never operated between London and DXB as stated in the first paragraph. Yes, AUH is close to DXB but they are not one in the same and are not even co-terminals like JFK/EWR or LHR/LGW. So, lets get that right.

    Royal Brunei was hardly a force in the market – DXB was an easy place to get gas along the way. Over the years, Royal Brunei has stopped at many different cities. Their goal was hardly to cater to the local market between DXB and LHR.

    And the biggest joke of this bit is the failure to mention Qantas’ service DXB-LHR that lasted for many years during their partnership with EK. When that ended, they went back to the traditional Kangaroo Route via SIN. But this was a daily A380 service!

    We’ll see if you even post my comments….

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