Emirates’ Chinese expansion strategy took a significant step forward on Tuesday with the launch of the airline’s first flights to two destinations: Yinchuan and Zhengzhou. Linking Dubai with Yinchuan, the capital of the predominantly Muslim region of Ningxia, and Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province and one of central China’s most populous cities.
The B777-200LR used on the service offers 14 tonnes of cargo capacity in the bellyhold. Popular commodities expected to be transported on these services include electronics, such as mobile phones from Zhengzhou and agricultural products such as goji berries and cashmere from Yinchuan.
The new service forms part of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which is aimed at driving trade and transport links between east and west, Emirates said. “Dubai is well-positioned to support China in achieving the mutual benefits that will come from this initiative, including deeper levels of cooperation and exchange. Located at the crossroads of East and West, Dubai is the largest import-export hub in the Middle East, connecting the world through its strong governance, extensive trade networks and global connectivity links.”
Onboard the first flight, chairman & chief executive, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: “We are confident the new air transport links will also help boost trade and tourism flows to the growing central and western parts of China where these cities are located.” The new four times a week service is operated using B777-200LR aircraft.
These new destinations add to Emirates’ current Chinese network of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.