Emirates Airlines has said it is eyeing expanding its business in Iran, which it described as a very important market, saying it is interested in increasing its operations there.
The divisional senior vice president of commercial operations at Emirates, Shaikh Al Mualla also added that the carrier is also considering its business model in Saudi Arabia and India.
For Iran, the Emirates currently operates flights to Tehran and Mashhad, and the carrier said seat occupation on both routes are high year round; from about 70 per cent to 90 per cent during the highest points of travels.
At the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition, Shaikh Al Mualla said they are looking at further expand their Iran operations as the country offers a great business opportunity to India. He disclosed that at the moment, Emirates is flying to nine destinations in India.
The lifting of sanctions on Iran in 2016 opened many good opportunities for industries to do business with the country and grow bilateral trade ties. Iran’s large population is driving demand for consumer products thus making the country very attractive to businesses.
Al Mualla said they have not yet started discussions with Iran, but he expressed optimism that his country’s expansion drive in the country will be successful.
Currently, Emirates Airlines has between 55,000-60,000 seats for India says Al Mualla. He said India’s aviation market remains protected by the government that advocates for more local carries.
Al Mualla also pointed out that authorities from the United Arab Emirates and officials of the Iranian government are involved in talks about boosting the number of flights into Iran given the strong demand for travels in and outside the Persian country.