Emirates set to upgrade aircraft on Lebanon route

Dubai airline says services to Beirut will become an all Boeing 777 operation from June 1.

Emirates Airline has announced plans to boost its services to Lebanon by upgrading both of its aircraft serving Beirut to an all Boeing 777 operation.

The Airbus 330-200 currently deployed on one of Beirut’s two daily flights will be upgraded to a larger Boeing 777-200LR from June 1, giving a 12 percent increase in seat capacity.

A second upgrade will be made in January 2016, providing a 53 percent increase in the number of seats available to customers, Emirates said in a statement.

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, Commercial Operations Centre said: “Lebanon is one of our most important markets in the Middle East so we are constantly seeking ways to enhance our services, while responding to healthy passenger demand.

"Both upgrades to our services will open up more seats to our customers travelling to and from Beirut and will boost Emirates’ contribution to Lebanon’s vital tourism industry, which is the backbone of its economy.”

He added: “We believe the up-gauges will also provide us the increased ability to serve demand from the Lebanese diaspora around the world, including the large Lebanese expatriate community in the UAE, who will benefit from our enhanced product offering when they go home to visit friends and family.”

The UAE is home to almost 150,000 Lebanese residents, which form one of its largest expatriate communities. Additionally, over 1,500 Lebanese businesses operate in Jebel Ali Free Zone, supporting a trade relationship between Lebanon and the UAE that is estimated to be over AED4 billion, according to the UAE Ministry of Economy.

Since 1991, when the first service to Beirut was inaugurated, over 3.6 million passengers have flown on Emirates.

Emirates SkyCargo will also offer an increased cargo bellyhold capacity of 560 tonnes per week in and out of Beirut.

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