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Emirates airline inaugurates route between Taipei, Dubai

TAIPEI--Dubai-based Emirates airline launched direct flight services yesterday between Taipei and Dubai to attract Taiwanese passengers using the emirate as a transit stop to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Already offering freight services to Taipei since 2003, Emirates said it hopes the new service will contribute to travel business, as well as bilateral economic and trade ties, between Taiwan and Dubai.

The airline's local agent, Sentra Travel Co., said the carrier could be especially ideal for Taiwanese travelers flying to Europe, as it operates extensive flight networks in countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

As Taiwan is trying to tap the Muslim market — a travel market with which Taiwan is not very familiar — the route could help build up interest in Taiwan in this sector, said Taiwan Tourism Bureau head David Hsieh.

The inaugural flight from Dubai landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 3:54 p.m., with the return flight expected to take off at 11:15 p.m. that same day, according to the airline.

Emirates Chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum visited Taiwan aboard the maiden flight, which reported a passenger load factor of around 90 percent.

The carrier will provide daily flight services using 777-300ER aircraft on the Taipei-Dubai route, which no Taiwanese airline operates currently.

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