DUBAI (Reuters) – Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, said on Wednesday that from June next year it would start flying to London Stansted, an airport largely served by European carriers.
The Dubai-based airline said it would begin daily flights between its Middle East hub and London’s third busiest airport on June 8, and that it would be the first Middle East airline to fly to Stansted.
It will be the third London airport Emirates flies to after London Heathrow and London Gatwick, and its seventh airport in the United Kingdom.
Stansted, 35 miles north of London, has traditionally been a base for European airlines flying holiday routes and budget carriers like Ryanair <RYA.I> and easyJet <EZJ.L>, although full-service carrier British Airways <ICAG.L> started flying there last year.
Emirates said it expected some of its demand to come from nearby technology and pharmaceutical hubs in Cambridge and Peterborough.
“There is a clear demand for this service from both business and leisure travellers and we anticipate that this news will be warmly received both across our global network, as well as by the business community based in the Stansted catchment area,” Emirates President Tim Clark said in a statement.
Emirates said flights would be operated by a three-cabin 354-seat Boeing 777-300 fitted with its new first class that features private, enclosed suites.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Louise Heavens)