Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said that this would increase trade opportunities and also make it more convenient for the large NRI community in Gulf. This would mean bringing more tourism business to Kerala through all three gateways, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode, he said.
Kozhikode is a popular tourist destination with scenic beaches, heritage sites and numerous cultural arts and festivals. It is also a trade and marketing centre for commodities such as spices, furniture rubber and industrial exports.
On the Dubai-Kozhikode route, Emirates will initially operate its Boeing 777-200 and Airbus A330-200 aircraft, offering over 4,000 Business and Economy class seats and close to 200 tonnes of cargo capacity per week in both directions, an Emirates release said.
Emirates currently operates 99 weekly flights from Dubai to nine gateways in India: Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram. Its global route network comprise 99 cities in 62 countries across six continents. This year, in addition to Kozhikode, Emirates has also announced it will start services to Cape Town on March 30.