Emirates to triple passenger capacity to France's Nice


Dubai-based Emirates airline is aiming to more than triple its passenger numbers between Dubai and the French Riviera city of Nice to 100,000 travellers this year.

The airline expects the expansion of its services to southern France to boost tourism between Dubai and the cities of the Cote d'Azur.

"Emirates' current three flights a week between Dubai and Nice, each with a stop in Rome, Italy, will change to five weekly non-stop services from December 1, 2008," said Jean-Luc Grillet, general manager for France at Emirates.

He added that the new plan will allow travellers to access the cities of Nice, Cannes and Monaco with greater convenience.

Emirates currently flies 30,000 passengers between the two cities on its current three flights per week schedule to Nice.

The Cote d'Azur currently sees about 50,000 travellers from the Middle East each year, said Filip Soete, marketing manager at Nice Airport, France's second busiest airport after Paris.

Soete added that Nice Airport sees more than 10 million travellers annually and has a capacity for an additional three million.

The flights will be operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration of 12 seats in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class and 183 seats in Economy Class.

The Middle East's top airline company has already added more capacity to its Paris-Dubai route, with both of its twice daily services operated by Boeing 777 aircraft since the end of February this year.