China Airlines, the Taiwan-based carrier, will relocate its regional base to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) with effect from today.
The first flight, which arrived at 10am from Taipei, was welcomed by a traditional water salute by executives from the airline and Dubai Airports.
The Taiwanese carrier uses the UAE as an intermediate stopover on its cargo flights between Taiwan and Europe. It will operate flights from Taipei to Dubai and onwards to Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Frankfurt using its fleet of Boeing 747s.
China Airlines joins more than 25 scheduled and charter airlines – which includes home carrier Emirates SkyCargo – that operate from the airport to more than 60 destinations around the globe.
The airport is fast emerging as a major regional and global cargo hub with freight volumes surging 262 per cent to 758,371 tonnes for the full year 2014, up from 209,209 tonnes in 2013.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome China Airlines to DWC. They join an increasing number of airlines which are recognising DWC as an important cargo hub with its world class facilities, flexible schedules, proximity to Jebel Ali Port and the fact that is it an ideal transit point between east and west,” said Majed Al Joker, SVP Operations DWC at Dubai Airports.